Recently, the Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labor Court ruled on
the rights of an employer to check browsing history without the
Orrick's German employment team published a client
newsletter about this judgment which can also be found here.
According to this newsletter entry, two issues that employers
have been struggling with are now eased:
Employers are free to choose whether they allow their employees
the private use of the Internet. However, it is also clarified that
an employee does not have any right to private use of the Internet
on workplace computers unless freely granted by the employer.
The unauthorized private use of the Internet at the workplace
can justify a termination of employment with immediate effect.
The newsletter entry also emphasizes the fact that in practice,
there is often great uncertainty regarding the question of how a
breach of the prohibition of private use or excessive private use
of the Internet outside the permitted limits can be proven.
Apart from this judgment, the German data protection authorities
recently published a general guideline for the use of email and
other internet services at the workplace which will be helpful for
all companies with business establishments in Germany. We
will provide an analysis of this guideline in which we also show
the impact of the Regional Labor Court of Berlin's decision on
employee privacy at work place shortly.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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