Internet, Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, GPS-systems,… New media and technology has long found its way into the work place.
To what extent is the use of new media during working hours allowed? Can an employee post work related messages on Facebook without consequences? Can the employer check the e-mail use? Can the employer check the internet use, or does he have to allow unrestricted use of the internet? Is it allowed for an employee to send private messages using his office computer? Is abuse a ground for dismissal, and is the use of e-mails as proof allowed? What about camera footage? Or reports of a private investigator?
All these questions relate to the protection of an employees’ privacy. The right to privacy may be a constitutional right, this does not mean that there are no limits to this right. In certain cases, an employee’s right to privacy will have to give way to other rights and interests. When this happens, it is of the upmost importance to reconcile the different interests in play.