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Following 18 years of employment, an Australian woman, Suzie Cheiko, was terminated from her position as a consultant when her employer used keystroke technology to assess her productivity.

The 38-year-old worked for Insurance Australia Group (IAG) for the better part of two decades before she was given a formal warning about her performance and output in November 2022.

Cheiko was put on a performance improvement plan, which involved her keyboard strokes monitored, for 49 days between October and December.

After being monitored for suspicious performance at work, an Insurance Australia Group employee was fired for “not presenting for work and performing work as required”

Image credits: Suzie Cheikho

During the evaluation, it was discovered that Cheiko commenced her work behind schedule on 47 days and finished work earlier than expected on 29 of them. In four instances, she was identified to have not completed any work hours whatsoever.

On the days she was active, meanwhile, colleagues complained about her “not doing very much.”

While under the surveillance of the keystroke technology, Cheiko averaged 54 keyboard presses per hour, which showed “she was not presenting for work and performing work as required,” according to her employers.

On February 20th, Cheiko was dismissed due to her failure to meet deadlines and attend meetings, her repeated absences rendering her unreachable, and her inability to fulfill an important task which caused the industry regulator to fine IAG, the company she represented.

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It was later revealed that the 38-year-old’s employer utilized keystroke technology to monitor her performance

Image credits: suzie.dolce

Image credits: suzie-cheikho

“Sometimes the workload is a bit slow, but I have never not worked,” she told her managers, after the findings of her performance review.

According to the findings by The Fair Work Commission (FWC), which dismissed her unfair dismissal application, Cheikho attended a performance meeting with her manager via Teams with the F-word written across her hand.

“I have tried to go through emails and messages to see if I can explain it,” she wrote according to FWC, concluding that she couldn’t find concrete evidence which would prove the review wrong.

“It’s embarrassing that this story has gone viral – nobody is going to hire me”

Image credits: suzie.cheikho

Ms. Cheiko was dismissed due to her failure to meet deadlines and inability to complete a task which got her employer fined by industry regulators

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Image credits: suzie.dolce

Image credits: Vadim Bozhko (not the actual photo)

“I have been going through a lot of personal issues which has caused a decline to my mental health and unfortunately I believe it has affected my performance and my work.”

Deputy President Thomas Roberts of the FWC concluded that Cheiko “was not working as she was required to do during her designated working hours” while under surveillance.

Cheiko disclosed that she had been relying on welfare and had received her initial Centrelink social security payment this month.

However, the unwelcome attention has inadvertently led to an increase in her online presence since her dismissal. She has transitioned into somewhat of a micro-influencer, amassing nearly 8000 followers on her TikTok account.

“I make a small percentage of money off TikTok — just enough to cover my bills,” she explained to DailyMail.

She filed an unfair dismissal application which was quickly rejected due to the lack of evidence on her part

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Image credits: suzie.dolce

Image credits: Corinne Kutz (not the actual photo)

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Cheikho made an appearance on Sunrise, “Australia’s No. 1 Breakfast Show,” Friday morning as part of an initiative to restore her good name, also featured on Thursday night’s A Current Affair program.

“I was going through some personal and mental health issues,” she told the hosts of Sunrise. “I was reprimanded for my work. Instead of my company meeting their duty of care and helping me, I was basically targeted because of my mental health and the personal stuff I was going through.”

She labeled her firing as a “premeditated attack” aimed at removing her from the company, adding that she feels like she’s “being treated like a full criminal.”

“Everybody makes mistakes. Being an employee of 18 years, I made my first mistake: I missed a deadline in lodging a document on time.”

Despite the Black Mirror-like tools used in the case, people thought that The Fair Work Commission’s verdict was fair

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