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Journal Articles Católica Law Review Year : 2021

Reinforcing Privacy Protection in the Workplace Through the Use of OSH (Occupational, Safety and Health) Law

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Abstract

Digitalization progresses represent huge challenges to employ-ee’s privacy at work, in particular taking into account the e-monitoring issues. Even though a number of European and International instruments provide legal framework for employee’s privacy protection at work, infor-mation and communication technologies (ICTs) used for monitoring in the workplace require the elaboration of a deeper understanding of what priva-cy at work is and what are the boundaries of employer’s managerial pow-er. Work-related stress is also one of the consequences of e-monitoring. Hence, the legal challenge will be to develop a concept of the employee’s right to control the e-monitoring practises. This right can be perceived, in our opinion, as a part of prevention and protection OSH strategy. In other words, from fundamental rights bases, we will elaborate the concept of the employee’s right to control the use of ICTs in the workplace in order to prevent the risk of work-related stress arising from a context of illegitimate e-monitoring and surveillance practices.Technologies such as keylogging, screenshotting, RFID chips, geolocation of employees are often used in the absence of employee’s consent and even awareness of them. Doubtlessly such monitoring can lead to the humiliation of the employee and exposes him/her to the risk of stress at work. Even though in the majorities of countries the results of such moni-toring cannot be used as a legitimate proof of misconduct for the purpose of sanctioning an employee, they still might be used for decision making on the worker’s career, or might be used for putting pressure on employ-ees to make them quit their job “voluntarily”.The use of some ICTs can cross the barrier of the employee’s private life and generate confusion between workplace and private place. In addition, some practices are aggravated by collecting biological data in order to evaluate the employee’s health at work, due to a healthy workplace policy in the company.In conclusion, the aim of this paper will be to analyse new challenges to employee’s privacy at work and to elaborate a legal concept related to the employee’s right to control the use of e-monitoring, including safeguards against such intrusions. We will provide arguments for the use of ICTs as a part of ensuring OSH at work for determining the e-monitoring software installed or used by an employer.
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Dates and versions

halshs-03262024 , version 1 (20-12-2021)

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03262024 , version 1

Cite

Loïc Lerouge, Elena Sychenko. Reinforcing Privacy Protection in the Workplace Through the Use of OSH (Occupational, Safety and Health) Law. Católica Law Review, 2021, V (2), p. 45-65. ⟨halshs-03262024⟩

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