In our previous report, a Meta spokesperson said that they regularly conduct audits on its partners and encourage reviewers to raise complaints when issues arise. They added: “We take our responsibility to the people who review content for Meta seriously and require our partners to provide industry-leading pay, benefits and support.”
However in a reply, Meta has distanced itself from the claims. Sama, which is alleged to have fired its former employee Daniel Motaung for leading a strike in 2019 over poor pay and work conditions, has also denied any wrong-doing.
“Your client’s employment was terminated because of unacceptable actions taken against fellow employees that jeopardized their safety. The process leading to the termination of your client was fair, clear and well-documented; there is absolutely no basis for the allegation that your client was unfairly dismissed from employment. Similarly, there is no basis for the allegation that your client is entitled to compensation,” a letter sent to Motaung’s lawyer, Mercy Mutemi, by Sama’s lawyers, Bowmans, said.
The law firm representing Motaung has now threatened to go on with the plans to file a lawsuit. Motaung’s lawyer alleged that Sama failed to grant her client and his colleagues adequate psychosocial support and mental health measures, including “unplanned breaks as needed particularly after exposure to graphic content.” The productivity of Sama’s employees, it is claimed, was also tracked using Meta’s software — to measure employee screen time and movement during work hours. Sama granted them “thirty minutes a day with a wellness counselor.”
Meta said it was not privy to the arrangement its subcontractor had with Moutang. “There was therefore no employer/employee relationship between Meta and the Claimant (Motaung), upon which a cause of action may be premised. No action can therefore be brought against Meta for any rights and /or obligations allegedly due to owing to the Claimant with respect to his employment with Sama, as Meta is not and has never been his employer,” said Anjaarwalla & Khanna LLP, the law firm representing Meta.