Employers who monitors their workplaces should heed the ECHR judgment

In a recent judgement (Lopez Ribalda and others vs. Spain) the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) declared that the workplace surveillance conducted by the employer with hidden cameras is a violation of employees' rights of privacy protected by the Convention.

A supermarket in Spain installed visible cameras for recording possible customers' thefts and hidden cameras for recording possible employee’s thefts. The employer informed the staff solely about the installation of the visible cameras.

The employees recorded stealing products, sometimes in concert with customers, were dismissed. After the Spanish court declared the termination of their labour agreement fair, the employees brought a case before the ECHR with an allegation of violation of their privacy.

The ECHR held in favour of the employees that the video surveillance at the workplace is a violation of art. 8 of the Convention and awarded non-pecuniary damages to be paid by the state.

The judgement is available here