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Kenya judge finds Meta not in contempt of court

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A Kenyan judge found Facebook’s parent company Meta was not in contempt of court for failing to pay dozens of content moderators that a contractor laid off.

in his ruling on Thursday, Labour Judge Mathews Nduma Nderi said Meta did not “deliberately and contemptuously” breach a court order requiring it to pay the wages of hundreds of Facebook content moderators.

“They did various things which they thought were lawful in trying to deal with their situation but we did not find that what they did amounted to contempt,” Nderi said.

Earlier this year, 184 moderators sued Meta and two contractors after they said they lost their jobs with one of the firms, Sama, for organizing a union.

The plaintiffs alleged they were then blacklisted from applying for the same roles at the second firm, Majorel, after Facebook changed contractors. Out-of-court settlement talks collapsed in October.

A Meta spokesman declined to comment. Sama and Majorel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Meta has previously responded to allegations of a poor working environment in Kenya by saying it requires partners to provide industry-leading conditions.

Sama has said it has always followed Kenyan law and provided mental health services to its employees. Majorel has said it does not comment on pending or active litigation.

Nderi accepted a request by the plaintiffs’ lawyer Merci Mutemi to be given 45 days to amend the contempt of court petition and said that unless the matter was resolved out of court, the case would be given priority for the court to determine its merits.

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