February 19, 2018

Employers are obliged to respect and implement employees’ right to privacy

The European Court of Human Rights adopted on 1 January 2018 an important judgment in the case LÓPEZ RIBALDA AND OTHERS v. SPAIN, where employees claimed violation of their right to privacy due to secret video surveillance at workplace.
The facts of the case showed that video surveillance was carried out to prove an occurrence of theft from an employer. Notwithstanding the fact that theft was reaffirmed by video evidence, the Court found that the employer was not entitled to carry out video surveillance of employees without prior notification, since the employer was not authorised by law to carry out criminal offence investigations. The Court pointed out that secret video surveillance of employees is a disproportionate measure of protecting the employer’s tangible property. Furthermore, the Court reiterated once again that in order to avoid violation of the employees privacy, the employer ought to notify employees of video recording prior to commencing the actual video surveillance.