Woman Fired From Her Job Of 18 Years For ‘Not Typing Enough’

Woman Fired From Her Job Of 18 Years For ‘Not Typing Enough’ LinkedIn | iStock

An Australian woman was fired from a job she had for 18 years after it was determined that she wasn’t typing enough while working from home. Suzie Cheikho says she was “shocked and confused” after Insurance Australia Group (IAG) sacked her after nearly two decades after a keystroke tracking software reported that she wasn’t doing enough. Ouch.

  1. Cheikho had a job creating insurance documents. She also oversaw “work-from-home compliance, making her firing even more ironic. While you would think adults could be trusted to get their work done throughout the day, IAG thought Cheikho wasn’t doing a very good job of it. And in this case, it seems like they might have been right.
  2. To be fair to IAG, it does look like Cheikho’s performance was falling short. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) said that Suzie Cheikho missed several meetings and deadlines. Not only that, but IAG says the company was fined by an industry regulator due to Cheikho’s failure to file a product disclosure statement.
  3. She was already on a warning for her work performance. IAG put Cheikho on an improvement plan in November 2022, but she was eventually let go in February 2023 for failing to, well, improve.
  4. The company had a fair bit of ammunition against her. After putting Cheikho on a cyber activity review, they tracked her for 49 days and found that she started late on 44 of those days and finished early on 29 of them. On four of those days, she didn’t work at all, per NewsAU.
  5. While she was “working,” IAG says she didn’t get much done. Cheikho was said to have demonstrated “very low keystroke activity,” with zero strokes for more than 117 hours in October, 143 hours in November, and 60 hours in December. However, she claims that’s because “system issues” forced her to log in on other, non-tracked devices.
  6. Cheikho has a totally different version of events. According to her, IAG had a “premeditated plan to remove her from the business and that she was targeted due to her mental health issues.”
  7. She insists she was always working. While Cheikho did tell her bosses that “sometimes the workload is a bit slow,” she has “never not worked.” She added: “I mean, I may go to the shops from time to time, but that is not for the entire day. I need to take some time to consider this and I will put forward a response.”
  8. Her claim for unfair dismissal was declined. FWC Deputy President Thomas Roberts said that her firing was totally valid. Considering the fact that Cheikho turned up to a meeting with her manager on Teams with the word “F***” written on her hand, that’s not hard to imagine.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill