• Internet: surfing too can justify dismissal
Tourism sites, comparing prices, ready-to-wear, women's magazine … This framework has performed all 10,000 connections to the Internet from his office, within two or three weeks, unrelated to his work. The Court of Cassation, in the beginning, the immediate dismissal of the employee. The use of "abusive" Internet was selected as "serious misconduct". "In this area, as for the rest, there is a principle of fairness: the working time should be used for the job," summarizes Mr. Eric Rocheblave, a lawyer specializing in labor law at Montpellier.
Personal use of the Internet in the office, it is reasoned, is not prohibited by the Labour Code. The employer, however, the right to control what sites are visited, since the connection is provided within the work, and supposed to be used for professional purposes. Some sites are of course to be avoided: the Bordeaux Court of Appeal held in 2011 that the consultation sites "sexual activities and meetings" is a serious offense.
• Social networks: they constitute evidence of fault
What is said on Facebook is far from private, dozens of cases to prove it. Three engineers were dismissed in 2010 for insulting their boss on the social network. Posts were only visible by their "friends" … where an employee of the company, which has screenshots and forwarded to the employer. "The impressions are found increasingly in labor arbitration cases, observed Rocheblave me. Everyone is spying and folders. "Traces left on social networks constitute evidence and may be grounds for dismissal.
The use of Facebook in the office is not prohibited but not recommended, especially if excessive, again because the principle of fairness at work. For many, the question does not arise: in 2011, 64% of companies blocking access to these networks to their employees.
In rare cases, social networks can also save the employees. Court of Appeal of Poitiers, a licensed salesperson verbally could demonstrate that it was well under employment contract showing messages left by his employer on his Facebook page.
• E-mail: protected if identified as "personal"
All e-mails from the professional messaging … are supposed to be professionals. The employer has an "absolute right" of these emails, "the same way a baker look at how our employees are making bread," notes Rocheblave me. Nothing prevents an employee to send personal emails, but in moderation. In 2009, the Council of Angers Prud'hommes confirmed the dismissal of an employee who had sent 156 personal e-mails in two months.
The secrecy of correspondence applies to personal mails clearly identified as such with the word "personal" in the subject. They can be consulted by management in the presence of the employee or representative, except in cases of "risk or special event." With regard to the content of e-mails, the same rules of decency apply. The Court of Appeal has recently Orleans upheld the dismissal of an employee for sending saucy emails to colleagues.
• Work Phone:
According to the CNIL (PDF), "The use for personal phone (provided by employer) work is tolerated if it is reasonable and not prejudicial to your employer." Conversations can not be recorded, except in special cases and reported (qualitative studies, for example). The employer can control the use of the telephone, from invoices and phone records. An employee who had sent 522 SMS and spent a total of 24 hours of calls in three months on his business phone has escaped dismissal last summer, before the Court of Appeal of Grenoble. She acknowledged the complaint but considered as disproportionate dismissal, an employee with 12 years of seniority.
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