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Strasbourg believes that recording an employee stealing with hidden camera violates his intimacy

The court keeps the dismissal of five Barcelona cashiers because they had a fair trial

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Strasbourg believes that recording an employee stealing with hidden camera violates his intimacy

No, employer cannot secretly record ir employees in ir jobs. The decision of European Court of Human Rights is forceful, but of little has served to five Spanish women who appealed to high European instance after being fired after being recorded stealing or helping or employees to steal products Of supermarket where y worked as cashiers. As Strasbourg court explained this Tuesday, all employees had a fair trial, so ir dismissal was coming. However, ECHR has ordered a compensation of 4,500 euros to each of plaintiffs, a smaller number than y requested.

More information
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The facts date back to June 2009. Concerned about irregularities between stock levels and quantities sold, management of MSA family chain of supermarkets decided to install cameras in ir facilities. But while he notified workers that he had placed cameras in sight, he did not inform m that, at same time, he installed or hidden ones, so employees were not aware that y were being recorded as well.

All women workers suspected of having committed a robbery were summoned individually to meetings where y were shown images in which y were seen helping clients and or employees steal items, or stealing m mselves, describes Sentence. The five plaintiffs — Isabel López Ribalda, María de los Ángeles Gancedo Giménez, María del Carmen Ramos Busquets, Pilar Saborido Imprisona and Carmen Isabel Pozo Barroso — residents at that time in Sant Celoni and Sant Pere de Vilamajor, in province of Barcelona, They admitted ir involvement in fts and were dismissed for disciplinary reasons.

Three of five cashiers signed an agreement recognizing ir involvement in robberies and committing mselves not to complain to labor courts in exchange for ir boss not to denounce m. Finally, however, all were on trial and content of videos was used in dismissal proceedings before courts.

The layoffs were validated in various instances by Spanish judiciary, so five cashiers ended up attending ECHR. They based ir claim in article 8 of European Convention on Human Rights on "respect for private life", which y considered was violated with hidden recordings, and article 6.1 on right to a fair trial.

In its ruling, made public this Tuesday, ECHR considers tested, with six votes in favour and only one against, that re was a violation to article 8 on respect to private life since, under Spanish legislation on data protection , plaintiffs "should have been informed that y were under surveillance, but y were not."

"Domestic courts (Spaniards) failed to make a fair balance between claimants ' right to privacy and employer-owned rights," judgment says. The Strasbourg court considers that " rights of employer could have been safeguarded by or means" and, also, that "it could have provided claimants with at least a general information on surveillance" that it was carrying out.

Still, seven judges who analyzed case López Ribalda vs. Spain refused to have a violation of right to a fair trial of cashiers. According to Strasbourg, trials were fair because video footage recorded with hidden cameras "was not only test on which domestic courts were based" when it came to being pronounced and because, in addition, plaintiffs "had opportunity to Answering and putting into question contents of recordings before court. "

In ir lawsuit, sacked cashiers claimed compensation for lost wages, as well as 6,250 euros each for "considerable moral damages" and anor 2, 906, 80 euros to compensate for judicial costs. The ECHR rejected wage compensation and reduced compensation for moral damages to 4,000 euros each, which should be added anor 500 euros for costs of trial.


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