A protected employee brought a case before the labour court seeking a court-ordered termination of his employment contract on the basis, in particular, that his employer had not respected his status of protected employee when it consulted the list of his telephone calls made on the mobile phone with which the company had provided him.

The Lyon Court of Appeal dismissed his application on the basis that the company merely examined the telephone statements provided by the operator of the phone, which had been made available to him by the company and that this simple examination did not constitute surveillance of its employees requiring that a particular procedure be respected.

For its part, the Supreme Court stated that “in order to accomplish their legal mission and to preserve the confidentiality pertaining thereto protected employees, whose ranks included board members and directors of social security funds had to be able to access equipment or processes at their place of work which would not allow their telephone calls to be intercepted and their interlocutors to be identified.”

In this case, the Court of Appeal pointed out that an examination by the employer of telephone statements for a phone made available to an employee allowed the latter’s interlocutors to be identified. Therefore, the Supreme Court criticised the position taken by the judges on the merits and referred the parties to another court of appeal. (Supreme Court, Social Affairs Division, 4 April 2012, No. 10-20845).