ON ACTUAL OCCASION...

... we use to report here on a recent ruling on labour law that stands out from the mass of case law on the world of work.

Thus, the Federal Supreme Court ruled on 25 August 2021 (BGer 4A_518/2020) that the use of private e-mails and WhatsApp messages of an employee can constitute an unlawful violation of personality rights even if it was expressly agreed in the employment contract that both the telephone and the laptop may be used exclusively for professional purposes. Namely, the request to delete private data before returning the devices could be seen as a de facto consent of the employer to private use.

In the case at hand, this not "only" led to the employer not being able to use the data to substantiate the reason for dismissal (sexual harassment) or to dispute the claimed overtime, but also to the employer having to pay the employee compensation. Quote: "Le fait que l'intéressé ait adopté des comportements importuns à caractère sexuel sur son lieu de travail avant la résiliation de son contrat ne le prive pas pour autant du droit au respect de sa sphère privée et intime".

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