A woman who claimed she was wrongly dismissed was ordered to repay her former employer about $2,000 for misrepresenting her working hours

A woman who claimed she was wrongly dismissed was ordered to repay her former employer about $2,000 for misrepresenting her working hours
A civil tribunal ordered Karlee Besse to compensate her former employer.Getty Images
  • Karlee Besse was ordered to compensate her former employer after claiming wrongful dismissal.
  • Controversial employee-tracking software showed she'd misrepresented her working hours.

Karlee Besse decided to sue her employer after losing her remote job in March last year after five months.

But instead of winning compensation, she was ordered to repay the company just over $2,000 for misrepresenting her working hours.

The story was first reported The Guardian.

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Besse claimed that Reach CPA, an accounting firm in British Columbia, Canada, had wrongly terminated her accounting role and sought sought C$5,000 ($3,747) for unpaid wages and severance.

The Civil Resolution Tribunal dismissed her claim after her former employer said Besse had logged more than 50 hours on her timesheets that "did not appear to have spent on work-related tasks," according to documents filed with the tribunal.


Reach said it had installed controversial employee-monitoring "bossware" on her computer after noticing that her assigned accounts were over budget and behind schedule. The TimeCamp software tracks employees' online activities.

Reach said that TimeCamp data identified "irregularities" between Besse's timesheets and her software usage.

The employee had argued that the software was difficult to use and couldn't accurately distinguish between work and personal tasks.

Besse met with her former employer on March 29 last year. In a video recording of the meeting shared with the tribunal, she said: "Clearly, I've plugged time to files that I didn't touch and that wasn't right or appropriate in any way or fashion, and I recognize that and so for that I'm really sorry."

Judge Megan Stewart concluded that TimeCamp "likely accurately recorded" Besse's work activities. She ordered Besse to compensate her former employer for a 50-hour discrepancy between her timesheets and TimeCamp's records.


In total, Besse was ordered to pay Reach a total of C$2,603 ($1,949) to compensate for wages and other payments, as well as C$153 ($115) in costs.

In her judgment, Stewart wrote: "Given that trust and honesty are essential to an employment relationship, particularly in a remote-work environment where direct supervision is absent, I find Miss Besse's misconduct led to an irreparable breakdown in her employment relationship with Reach and that dismissal was proportionate in the circumstances."

"Bossware" became more popular during the surge in home working after the pandemic struck, but privacy activists have raised concerns.

Reach CPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.