Meta Appeals Kenyan Court Ruling That Declares Moderators as Employees

Meta has filed a notice of appeal following a Kenyan court ruling that deemed it the primary employer of content moderators in the sub-Saharan region. The company is pushing back against the decision after 184 moderators, alongside content review partner Sama, sued Meta for alleged unlawful contract termination.

In the initial ruling, the Employment and Labor Relations Court declared Meta the main employer of the moderators, with Sama acting only as an agent. The court stated that moderators provided services for Meta, using the company’s technology and adhering to its performance and accuracy standards. Subsequently, moderators’ contracts were extended under existing or better terms on an interim basis.

The court also prohibited Meta and Sama from dismissing moderators until the case reached its final determination, arguing that no justifiable reason for the redundancies exists. However, Meta disagrees with the court’s decision, filing documents to contest the contract extensions and the characterization of Meta’s relationship with the moderators.

Within the court documents, Meta argues that the court erred by extending expired contracts and imposing new terms and obligations on the company without its knowledge. Joanne Redmond, Meta’s EMEA Director and Associate General Counsel for Labor and Employment, submitted an affidavit on June 7 stating that the moderators were Sama’s employees, not Meta’s, and that the court lacked jurisdiction in the case.

With the notice of appeal filed, Meta seeks to reverse the ruling that binds them to the moderators as their primary employer. The outcome of this appeal will have significant ramifications for content moderation policies and practices within the region, and it remains to be seen how the courts will ultimately weigh in on the issue.