Nuance: an employer may read messages from employees?




A ruling from the European Court of Human Rights does not appear, as it is reported Wednesday that an employer has the general power to read private messages from an employee. This leaves lecturer labor Ivo van der Helm to Tweakers know.

In Bărbulescu- ruling concerns a Romanian employee who was fired because he sent messages with Yahoo Messenger, while it was intended for business communications. The employer had investigated the reports under the assumption that these were business related. Bărbulescu then brought suit against his employer, because they are fundamental to the protection of privacy would be violated by examining the communication. The Romanian court then held that the employer was allowed carry out such an investigation.

The ECHR has just ruled in this case that the Romanian court in its judgment had indeed made ​​the right balance between the interests of the employer and the protection of the privacy of the employee. Because even though the fundamental right does not apply between citizens, the state still has an obligation to ensure that these rights are protected. In this case, this is done by the court.

In various media is interpreted that statement Wednesday that would arise out that an employer has the general power to keep the employees in private communication holes. However, that conclusion can not be drawn directly as Assistant Professor Ivo van der Helm, affiliated with the University of Utrecht.

He shows further Tweakers that the ECtHR in this matter actually only very marginally tests whether the national court has made the right decision. Consequently, the Court does not rule on a general power of the employer to keep private communications monitored. Employers would also be allowed to examine communications Netherlands, provided there is a valid reason.

It would go to the question of whether an employee may have a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, in business communication will not soon be a violation of this right. In the case which is now ruling on the employer was therefore not examined further private information of the employee. This makes it by the national courts and the ECHR remained subdued and is therefore determined no privacy violation.

This ruling of the ECHR, according to Van der Helm therefore not surprising if at all mention particularly interesting.


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