Social media giant Meta can be sued in Kenya on allegations of a toxic working environment as it is not registered.
An Employment and Labour Court in Kenya has declined Meta’s request to be removed as a party against a lawsuit filed against it and Sama.
Meta had desired to distance itself from the case arguing a Kenyan court has no jurisdiction over it since it was not trading or domiciled in Kenya.
Facebook’s whistleblower and former content moderator Daniel Motuang moved to court in May 2022, suing Meta and Sama- its main subcontractor for content moderation in Africa, for human trafficking, forced labor, unfair labor relations, union busting, and not providing adequate mental health and psychosocial support.
Nzuli and Nsumbi advocates, a law firm representing Daniel Motaung in its application, further claims that Sama equally carried out a “deceptive recruitment process” by coming up with vacancies that did not mention the nature of the job that successful applicants would do.
Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton applauded the ruling saying, “The judgment is both historic and globally significant. This is the first time that Meta Platforms Inc will be significantly subjected to a court of law in the global south. Amnesty International Kenya is delighted by the ruling and its implications for other cases against Meta Platform Inc before Kenya’s courts. Social media platforms have serious impacts on people’s lives and societies. They must be more accountable.
Daniel Motaung was laid off in 2019 for organizing a strike and trying to unionize the subcontractors’ employees.
Motaung is not only seeking financial compensation for himself but for other moderators as well. He wants Sama and Meta to be compelled to stop the union from busting and start offering mental health to its employees.