A court in the Netherlands has ruled that an American company violated the human rights regarding a Dutch employee by forcing him to keep his webcam on during working hours, reports TechCrunch. An employee hired by Florida-based telemarketing firm Chetu was fired for refusing to be under the control of a program that broadcast his webcam and shared his screens for nine hours a day.

The company said it fired the employee for refusing to work and insubordination. However, he responded by stating that he did not feel comfortable being watched all day.

This is an invasion of my privacy and makes me feel really uncomfortable. That is the reason why my camera is not on, the court documents quote.

Tracking via camera for 8 hours per day is disproportionate and not permitted in the Netherlands, the judgment says and adds that it also violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court ruled that Chetu fired the employee unfairly and must pay a fine of $50 thousand, as well as the employee’s wages, court costs and unused vacation days.

We note that in the Netherlands and other EU countries there must be a valid motive for dismissal (refusal to perform work, unacceptable behavior, etc). Otherwise, the employee has grounds to appeal it.