In early 2016, a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) case (Barbulescu v. Romania) attracted much publicity because it appeared to give employers the green light to read employees’ private emails (read our original commentary here). The decision in the original case has now been overturned by the Grand Chamber of the ECHR.
The case concerned a Romanian national, Bogdan Mihai Bărbulescu. Mr Bărbulescu had been dismissed after his employer monitored his work-related Yahoo Messenger account and discovered that Mr Bărbulescu had used it for private communications, including messages to his brother and fiancée, which was in breach of the employer’s internal policies.
After unsuccessfully bringing employment claims in the Romanian courts, Mr Bărbulescu brought his case before the ECHR, claiming that Romania had failed to protect his Article 8 right under the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to respect for his private and family life, his home, and correspondence.
The Fourth Section of the ECHR dismissed Mr Bărbulescu’s claim, who then appealed to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR.
Continue Reading EU Case Confirms That Employers Do Not Have Carte Blanche For Workplace Monitoring