WHAT ARE THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE CURRENT DECISION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ON THE MONITORING OF CORPORATE E-MAILS FOR EMPLOYERS?
In the decision of the Constitutional Court which is dated 05.02.2021 and no.31386 which is published in the Official Gazette dated 05.02.2021 and numbered 31386 the employer’s review of a bank employee’s corporate email account is handled.
Briefly, in the application subject to the decision, the content of the corporate e-mail account of the person working in a private bank was examined by the employer, and the applicant’s employment contract was terminated within the frame of Labour Law articles 17 and 18 it was terminated under the article. As a result of the trial, the case for returning to work was rejected. During the Constitutional Court application, applicant claimed that correspondence with corporate e-mail accounts were examined without information and without consent, that the employment contract was terminated based on these correspondence, and that respect for his personal life and freedom of communication were violated as a result of these evidence that was the basis of the court decision.
Constitutional Court determined that the fundamental rights and freedoms of the employee were not violated for the following reasons. The considerations highlighted in the decision are mainly as follows;
- The employment contract had notified the employee that employer’s corporate email account will only be used for business purposes and it may be audited by the employer without declaration beforehand,
- The Employee consented to this audit by signing the employment contract,
- The employee has no claim or explanation regarding the invalidity of the consent given by the employment contract,
- The data obtained by the correspondence submitted by the employer was used only in a suitable way for the purpose in the judicial process, in order to support and prove the applicant’s claim that he is working another job.
- During the trial by the court, the decision was reached not only according to the documents obtained by examining the corporate email, but also by evaluating witness statements and other documents
Ayça Kortel, Attorney At Law