Court rules Meta can be sued in Kenya over alleged unlawful redundancies

A Kenyan judge ruled on Thursday that Facebook’s parent company Meta could be sued in Kenya, after 43 moderators at its Nairobi hub last month filed a lawsuit against the group and its local partner Sama for unfair termination.

In response, Judge Matthews Nduma issued an interim injunction against Meta and Sama preventing them from terminating the moderators’ contracts, pending a judgment on the legality of their redundancy.

“The court finds that this court has jurisdiction to determine the matter of alleged unlawful and unfair termination of employment on grounds of redundancy,” Nduma said on Thursday.

The moderators in the petition – who are now 184 in number – say they were fired in retaliation for complaints about working conditions and attempts to form a union.

“I do this work because I believe in protecting people,” said Juanita Jones, a moderator in the petition.

“Moderation is the frontline defence of the internet – and it is time to value the work like it, not treat it as some disposable, dead-end job,” Jones said.

The moderators say they were blacklisted from applying for the same roles at another outsourcing firm, Luxembourg-based Majorel, after Facebook switched contractors.

Meta, Sama and Majorel did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

A Kenyan labour court in February ruled that Meta could be sued in the East African country after one former moderator at the Nairobi hub filed a lawsuit against it, alleging poor working conditions.

The cases could have implications for how Meta works with content moderators globally. The U.S. giant works with thousands of moderators around the world, tasked with reviewing graphic content posted on its platform.


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