An employment case law refers to the legal process that involves the employer and the worker; which is often because of the alleged inappropriate conduct of a worker in the enterprise (Davies, 2011). It is because, in any specific business, the worker is needed to conduct themselves in a way that corresponds to the values, goals, as well as the objectives of the business. For instance, in various companies, it is against the standards to operate office equipment like computers or mobile phones for unofficial operations such as charting to friends or calling family members (Davies, 2011).
Office facilities are meant for the business uses and there have been different conflicts usually leading to lawsuits of an employee being dismissed due to misappropriate use of office phones or computers. Additionally, when a worker is caught using office equipment without observing the company laws then they can face a wide range of disciplinary actions. Moving forward, the corporate business environment is characterized by cases where it is difficult to assess whether it is the employer or the employee who is right or wrong. As a result, this scenario leads to the employment case laws which aims at finding a solution to the matter. In that light, I will discuss one of the current employment case laws related to the contemporary business world.
The case law I will discuss is the employer monitoring the worker's social media pages. In the modern world, the use of social media platforms is a common acct among individuals irrespective of their ages. On these platforms, individuals post what they like and connect to their friends or workmates as they converse on various topics. On the same note, employers can utilize this chance to view the activities of their employees due to the fear that their contributions on social media debates may go along to taint the corporate image of the business if by any chance the discussion was about the firm. People can as well judge an employee from their places of work and this can destroy the overall image of the business. The case I will cover her is that of Barbulescu v Romania (ECHR) and it was about the company watching the behaviors of workers on social media. The country where the case occurred was Romania and the case was before the European court of human rights which investigates the privacy of workers.
The case revolved around a worker in a business that used the computer at the workplace to access other sites such as Yahoo and use the company computer to communicate with colleagues and family members. According to the employment policy of the organization, the worker is not allowed to use work facilities for personal gains alongside social activities. The employer justified his act of dismissing the worker saying that the employee is paid to execute productive errands using the facilities.
Additionally, the employer indicated that the workplace equipment, for instance, the internet connection and the computer were installed for official use and not for uses that would not benefit the business. As a result, according to the business, the work was wrong to use the office material for uses that are not approved by the company.
On the contrary, the worker who is a senior engineer in the company asserted that the employer's actions were not legal and were again the ECHR (European convention of human rights). According to the worker, the employer violated his privacy citing that personal conversations are regarded as private and confidential and that no one including the employer is permitted to monitor such communication without any justification of the conduct. At the end of the case, it was indicated that the worker was not acting appropriately in accordance to the company laws and regulations, and also the worker's behavior was against the employment act on ethical conducts (Simkevitz & Levin, 2011). The employee is only allowed to use a company's computer or internet in activities that would benefit the employer because the installation of these facilities requires an input of cash to get an output in form of productivity and profit.
The violations posed a wide range of consequences to the business in the end; both on the employee's side and the employer's side. One of the impacts was to assure the workers within the offices on how to use the office equipment from the time the case occurred. It involved informing them of the best practices that would benefit the company with regards to productivity and profitability.
Moving forward, it had the impact on providing an explanation about the issue of using social media within the organization, for instance, when should workers view their social media pages and by use of which facilities, for instance, the company internet which in most cases the employees have access to the password. In addition, there was the consequence of increased profitability due to increased productivity as worker's concentration was tightened on official roles in the premise and this was a good impact of the business (PITT, 2018).
Creation of awareness among workers in the company about the use of social media was another outcome of the case because they realized the consequences of using company facilities for self-interest. As a result, such cases of the illegal use of company official facility to execute unofficial actions would not happen in the coming days because the ruling elaborated the lawfulness of the matter in the company.
For the issue to be solved and to mitigate any chances of similar scenarios in future, the business should consider applying a comprehensive model of communication within the workplace as well as informing the works about the different regulations and rules that govern their behaviors in the premise.
As a human resource expert, I have studied this organization background and realized that there are different ways through which a workplace can be developed to be free from violations. Workers and employers' disagreement are not good for the growth of a business and therefore the first step that should be considered in this business is enhancing effective communication channels because this will explain what is right or wrong in the business. Another important criterion is frequently updating the workers about the new rules that govern their conducts to ensure awareness is created alongside ethical practices.
The other way is to arrange for seminars and refresher course which will ensure the premise is free from violation because the workers will be updated with prevailing conditions. As such, there is proof that the law is a backbone for the success of the business because the laws will govern the workers in line with the requirements of the business.
Davies, A. (2011). Employment Law and Human Resources Handbook 2012. Kogan Page.
PITT, P. (2018). EMPLOYMENT LAW. [S.l.]: SWEET & MAXWELL.
Simkevitz, H., & Levin, A. (2011). The law of employee use of technology. Aurora, Ont.: Canada Law Book.
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Research Paper on Employment Case Between Barbulescu v. Romania (ECHR). (2022, Nov 01). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/research-paper-on-employment-case-between-barbulescu-v-romania-echr
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