The Spanish Constitutional Court (Ruling No. 29/2013) declared null and void the previous judgments of the labor courts, which had confirmed the discipline sanction imposed by an entity on an employee who was not performing his working schedule properly.
In the case at stake, the entity that imposed the sanction suspected that the concerned employee was breaching the duty to arrive and leave the work place punctually. The entity confirmed its suspicions by reviewing its video-surveillance records of the CCTV cameras installed, together with CCTV warning signs, in different access points to its facilities and, subsequently, they decided to impose a 3-month salary and work suspension discipline sanction on the employee.
The sanctioned employee challenged the sanction by arguing that the entity violated the protection of the employee's personal data because the employees were never informed about the use of the CCTV cameras for monitoring the performance of the employee duties. The employee allegations were not admitted either by the entity, or by the lower and higher labor courts that heard the case.
Next, the employee brought the claim before the Constitutional Court, which stated that, though the employee's consent is not generally required for the processing of the employee's data in the framework of the employment agreement, it is a must that the employer inform the employees about the purposes and uses of the processing of employee data. Thus, the Constitutional Court concluded that the entity had breached the protection of the employee data because the entity had not advised the employees about the use of the CCTV video-surveillance records for monitoring the employee's performance and consequently it nullified the discipline sanction imposed on the employee.