Canadian Accountant Ordered to Reimburse Employer for ‘Theft of Time’: NPR


TimeCamp time tracking software is able to monitor what files are being viewed, for how long, and whether other non-work activities, such as streaming services, are being used on a laptop.

Elise Amendola/AP


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Elise Amendola/AP


TimeCamp time tracking software is able to monitor what files are being viewed, for how long, and whether other non-work activities, such as streaming services, are being used on a laptop.

Elise Amendola/AP

When Canadian accountant Karlee Besse was fired for her unproductive job, she found herself not only against her former employer, but also against her time-tracking software.

Now a civil court, part of the Canadian court system, has ruled Besse owed her former company $2,756 after software installed on her laptop revealed she misrepresented 50 hours of work. .

Besse worked remotely for Reach CPA, an accounting firm based in British Columbia, Canada. The dispute began last year when Besse claimed she was fired without “just cause”.

Her employer argued that Besse was rightfully fired because she engaged in time theft. Reach CPA said it collected evidence using TimeCamp, a time-tracking software that records what files are viewed and for how long. The records showed a 50-hour gap between what Besse reported as work time and what TimeCamp recorded as work activity.

Besse argued that she found the program difficult to use and that she could not get the software to differentiate between work and time spent on her work laptop for personal use – which, according to both parties, his employer allowed during off-peak staff hours.

In a video submitted to the court, Reach CPA showed that TimeCamp is able to record when and how long employees access work-related documents, and to differentiate – based on the electronic route – when they are. on non-professional sites, such as a streaming service like Disney Plus. The company makes the final distinction between professional and non-professional activities.

Besse also argued that she spent a lot of time working with paper documents, but didn’t tell her company about it because “they wouldn’t want to hear that.” However, TimeCamp also tracks printing activity and the company found no evidence that it printed a large volume of materials.

When confronted with the 50 unaccounted hours, Beese told her manager that she had recorded some hours inaccurately in her timesheet.

“I spent time on files that I didn’t touch that weren’t correct or appropriate in any way, and I acknowledge that and so for that, I’m very sorry,” said Besse during a meeting with her. company, according to the video cited in the ruling.

Ultimately, the civil resolution court denied Besse’s claims. The court also ruled that Besse had 30 days to reimburse her former employer for the unaccounted-for hours she was paid for and other associated costs.

A growing number of companies are using technology to monitor their staff while working from home. Employers see it as a tool to ensure that workers do not slack off and improve their efficiency. Workers and privacy advocates, however, say this type of tracking is intrusive and fear it will normalize surveillance in the workplace, even when people return to the office.

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