How to Reconcile Private and Professional Life in the Workplace

How to Reconcile Private and Professional Life in the Workplace

The secret of correspondence The question, at first glance, seems simple, but the answer is less obvious. For a time, case law was favorable to employees. Indeed, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Cassation based their reasoning on respect for private life. Thus, the secrecy of correspondence for the employee in the workplace was recognized and constituted a fundamental freedom. It was therefore enough to prove its personal nature for there to be protection. In 2001, the Court of Cassation thus expressed the idea that sending personal electronic messages in the workplace is a right. The employer therefore could not intercept them. A change in case law The balance of power seems to be changing in favor of employers from now on, insofar as case law seems less and less conciliatory with employees.

When Personal Activity Encroaches

Thus, if the employee has not identified his correspondence as personal, it is considered as professional. Determining which messages are “private” or “professional” is difficult in practice, since they are sent or received on the same computer. Also correspondence is increasingly used without the mention “private” or “professional”. With regard to professional emails, when the employee has identified them as personal files on his computer, the employer Audit Directors Auditors Email Lists can only consult them with his presence or consult them only if there is a risk for the company. The case of the personal USB key Jurisprudence now considers that a personal USB key can be consulted by the employer even without the presence of the employee, because it is connected to the computer that has been made available to him.

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the Case of the Personal USB Key

In addition, a file with the name “my documents” and a hard disk named ” personal data” is not considered personal. “. In summary, the files created, sent, received by the employee are presumed. To be professional if the employee does not identify them as personal. Private correspondence is tolerated in the workplace provided it does not fail in its main activity. When personal activity encroaches The dismissal can be pronounced if the reasonable ATB Directory limit is exceeded. If the employee fails in his duty of loyalty by spending more time on the internet for personal purposes. Therefore, spending time on social networks can constitute a fault. There is no tolerance in the event that the employee devotes too much time. Energy to activities that are not part of his employment contract.


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