Protezione temporanea dei marchi
27 Agosto 2014
Marchio per la vendita al dettaglio di servizi
2 Settembre 2014

Use of social networks at work

The content of the measure (Judgment dated August 1st, 2014) is in agreement with the position of the Supreme Court (Judgment no. 17859 dated August 11th, 2014) and the Court of Appeal of Turin (Judgment no. 2149/2012) and it has considered legal, the dismissal for right cause of an employee who – during the working hours – used the Internet connection of the Company in order to access to pornographic sites and / or Facebook. In this specific case, the Company dismissed the employee for right cause and with immediate effect, for having improper used the Internet at work.

The Company alleged that during working hours the employee published on his personal Facebook profile three photographs (which had been previously taken in the Company), then he posted these photos with offensive comments for the Company’s image; moreover, he surfed porno sites (reported on the list attached to the counterclaim letter). The employee appealed the aforementioned dismissal and argued that he had been victim of an unauthorized access to his personal Facebook profile.

From proofs of some coworkers, deemed as reliable by the Judge, it has been proved that the fired employee was using the pc when many accesses to porno sites were recorded. Moreover, from the history of the web surfing, it seems that the fired employees did online researches on his uncle, who was in care in a healthcare structure. The Judge held the above-mentioned behaviors as very grave and they have been both judged as a clear violation of the most basic duties of care, loyalty and fairness. According to the Judge, even the only online surfing on porno sites is enough to establish an irreparable injury to the trust indenture.

The Judge highlighted the concept of violation of what “the social consciousness considers the ethical minimum” (according to the law: Court of Cassation, Workers Section, September 1st, 2009, No. 12735). To be thorough and as verified by the Judge, it is clarified that the disciplinary code was regularly exposed in the notice board of the Company.

The dismissal for right cause for the use of social media is legally considered as dismissal for improper use of the Internet, which has several precedents (see Internet navigation from business mobile: Court of Genoa May 2nd, 2005).

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