ECHR: Private communications during office hours may be read by employers

In a new judgment, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that employers may read private communications made during office hours. The case of Bărbulescu v. Romania involved a Romanian national who had instituted action against his employer after his employment contract was terminated for breach of the company’s internal regulations, and the fact that transcripts of personal messages were produced as evidence. With six votes to one, the Court ruled that it is not unreasonable for an employer to want to verify that the employees are completing their professional tasks during working hours.