Amref sued for using ex-employees' image on Facebook without consent

Employee who was terminated said he learned his image was used without his consent or compensation

In Summary

• Former sales employee of Amref flying doctors said his image was used without his consent and without compensation on Twitter and Facebook.

• Gedion Nyaga said the photos were rightly understood by the public to mean he was a commercial ambassador, which was incorrect. 


Milimani law court
Milimani law court
Image: FILE

A former employee of Amref flying doctors has sued seeking compensation for use of his image for advertisement without his consent.

Gedion Nyaga says his former employer used his image on its Facebook and Twitter page without his permission and without giving him any compensation.

He was employed on February 18, 2019, by Amref flying doctors as a corporate sales executive for a fixed term of two years.

His employment term was expected to lapse on February 17, 2021. He was entitled to a monthly salary of $1,100 (Sh120,773), a transport allowance of $115 (and Sh12,626) and an airtime allowance of $215 (Sh23,605) per month.

On March 22, 2019, the employer invited all employees to a photo shoot allegedly for communication purposes. Nyaga attended.

However, he learnt that between May and June the same year, his image was used for external advertisement without his consent.

The image was posted on Amref’s Facebook page, which had more than 400,000 followers. It was also posted on its Twitter account which has more than 27,000 followers, he said.

In his suit papers, Nyaga said he did not enter into contract with his employer to use his image and was not also informed his image was going to be used for advertisement.

Given the context of the publication, the photos complained of were rightly understood by the public to mean that Nyaga was endorsing Amref as its commercial ambassador, the court heard.

He said despite the company using his image he was never compensated.

“Article 40 of the Constitution provides for the protection of the right to property by the petitioner (Nyaga). The petitioner’s image and likeness was illegally appropriated by the respondent (Amref) for commercial purposes without any just compensation for the same,” court was told.

Amref, he said, is in breach of his right to human dignity.

He also said that despite his demands, the employer failed to compensate him and forced him to file a case seeking reprieve.

According to documents filed in court, Nyaga was put on a performance improvement plan by his manager in February 2020.

He was expected to improve his sales.

Despite the effects of Covid-19 pandemic, Nyaga said, he did his best to achieve his targets. He was later given a show cause letter on June 2, 2020.

He was invited to a disciplinary hearing on June 12 but even before that he was informed his  employment had been terminated, he said.

Nyaga said he suffered hardship and embarrassment as a result of the actions of his former employer.

He sent a demand letter to the company seeking compensation for unfair termination.

(Edited by V. Graham)



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