A Woman Was Fired From Her Job Due To 'Low Keystroke Activity' — But She Says She Was Targeted Due To Her 'Mental Health Issues'

The company claimed that the employee often missed deadlines and meetings, which caused them to be fined by the industry.

employee, company, fired, job Jacob Lund / Umarazak / Shutterstock 

When an insurance company implemented keystroke technologies in their employees’ work-provided computers to monitor their work consistency, one woman found herself in trouble. After the company discovered the woman’s lack of work performance, they ultimately decided to fire her.

However, she now claims that she was unfairly let go and was targeted by her boss. 

The insurance company used ‘keystroke technology’ to uncover one of their employees’ decline in work ethic before firing her. 

Suzie Cheikho was a former consultant for the Insurance Australia Group. She worked from home for the company for nearly 18 years, where her role consisted of creating insurance documents, meeting regulatory timelines, and monitoring “work from home compliance,” per a finding from the Fair Work Commission (FWC). 


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In November 2022 after the company noticed a decline in Cheikho’s work performance, she was given a formal warning and put on a performance improvement plan, per the New York Post. However, she continued to miss deadlines and meetings, was frequently absent and unreachable, and failed to complete a task which caused the industry regulator to fine the insurance company. 

The company was able to utilize keystroke technology to monitor Cheiko’s activity during her designated work hours, which analyzed the number of times she physically pressed her keyboard over the course of 49 working days from October to December. 


The technology discovered that Cheiko had a “very low keystroke activity” when she logged onto her computer.

Zero keystrokes were recorded over 117 hours in October, 143 hours in November, and 60 hours in December. Additionally, she did not work her scheduled hours for 44 days, started late on 47 days, finished early on 29 days, and did not complete any work on four days. 

The cyber review uncovered that Cheiko averaged 54 keystrokes per hour, which proved that she “was not presenting for work and performing work as required.” 

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Cheiko was ultimately fired from the Insurance Australia Group on February 20, 2023. 


However, she claims that the cyber activity report that recorded her keystrokes was inaccurate and that she had become a target at the company for unrelated reasons. 

Cheiko says that she was fired due to her ‘mental health issues.’ 

A month after Cheiko was fired, she reported to the FWC that her employer had a “premeditated plan to remove her from the business and that she was targeted due to her mental health issues.” 

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While she admitted that sometimes she turned in her workload a bit slower than usual, she alleges that she spent her scheduled hours working as she should. 


“I mean, I may go to the shops from time to time, but that is not for the entire day,” she told her managers, per FWC findings. 

In a written response, Cheiko revealed that she is looking over the data in hopes of obtaining an explanation since she cannot recall why her keystroke activity was that low. 

She added that she has struggled with her physical and mental health for quite some time, which has affected her work performance

“I have been going through a lot of personal issues which has caused a decline to my mental health and unfortunately I believe it has affected my performance and my work,” she wrote. 

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However, FWC Deputy President Thomas Roberts ruled that the evidence depicted that Cheiko was “dismissed for a valid reason of misconduct,” per a statement issued by Roberts, and that she “was not working as she was required to do during her designated hours.” 

“I am satisfied that the dismissal of the applicant was not harsh, unjust, or unreasonable.” Although, Roberts claims that he has “little doubt that the factors underlying the applicant’s disconnection from work were serious and real.” 

Mental illness can undoubtedly affect an employee’s work performance.

Conditions such as anxiety and depression interfere with the ability to concentrate and complete tasks at work approximately 20% of the time and reduce cognitive performance about 35% of the time, per the CDC. 

Additionally, mental health conditions are associated with higher rates of disability and unemployment. 


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Although Cheiko’s exact mental health issues are unknown, they most likely played a significant role in her decline in work ethic. 

Working remotely also very well could have contributed to Cheiko’s alleged lack of effort. According to data from Gallop, the percentage of those who worked from home before and after the pandemic feel burnout 11% more of the time, than those who work outside their homes, who experience burnout 4% less of the time. 


There are several ways remote workers can alleviate their burnout and feelings of disconnection. It is suggested that they structure their days, take scheduled breaks often, change their scenery every once in a while, and stay active. 

It is important that workers check in with themselves once in a while to ensure they can perform the tasks they are given.

While Cheiko clearly was struggling to balance her work and her personal life, these were measures that likely would have benefited her. We wish her the best of luck in seeking a new job. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.