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Layoffs and WhatsApp

This is not the first time that in this blog we discuss the impact of social networks and new technologies in the workplace. Today we mention the star instant messaging application. Whatsapp practically monopolizes the scope of this service, being used massively in Spain. This circumstance had to have a work impact, as in the case we are discussing today.
In this case it is the recent ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Galicia of April 25, 2014. In it the Court heard the case of a nurse in a nursing home, who mistakenly provided a patient with yogurt that It contained psychiatric medication, which caused drug intoxication and drowsiness. After being under surveillance for 24 hours, he recovered without consequences.
After the events, the company reviewed the recordings and obtained the conversation held by the nurse with a colleague, data that led to her dismissal for negligence.
The employee sued the company because she understood that her right to privacy had been violated by using the images from the video cameras installed in the center as evidence, as well as her right to confidentiality of communications had been violated by the use of the transcription of the conversation held with a colleague on the “whatsapp” mobile application.
The Court rejected both claims, considering the evidence valid.
Regarding those obtained after viewing the existing cameras in the clinic, he pointed out the power of surveillance and control, ex art. 20.3 of the ET that allows the company to control workers' compliance with their labor obligations, as long as the measure is appropriate for the purpose pursued, the installation of the cameras is not done in private places and there is no subsequent dissemination of the content; Likewise, it affirmed the absence of a legal obligation to communicate the installation of cameras to workers or workers' representatives.
This reasoning of the Court will most likely be subject to appeal, since it seems to be almost frontally opposed to what was dictated by the Constitutional Court in its ruling 29/2013.
Regarding the violation of the confidentiality of communications, the Court's argument, more reasonable, rejects the arguments of the dismissed employee under the premise that the company was aware of and obtained the conversation through the worker with whom she was speaking, not consequently there is no interference.
In conclusion, it is advisable to be very aware that the statements that are made and leave the scope of the issuer's disposal constitute valid evidence in judicial proceedings.

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