The Labour Courts of the City of Buenos Aires, in the case – “G. J. c/ Ferrero Argentina S.A. y otros s/Despido” ruled that the footage of surveillance cameras of the employer does not constitute enough evidence to prove the alleged cause of dismissal of an employee.
Labour Courts in Argentina have ruled that in case of a dismissal for cause, the employer has the burden of proving the alleged cause of dismissal. In case the employer fails to prove the cause of dismissal, the employee is entitled to collect severance compensation provided by local labour laws for dismissal without cause.
In this particular case, the Labour Court considered that the employer failed to prove that the employee had stolen a working tool (the alleged cause of dismissal) due to the fact that the footage from the surveillance cameras that was filed with the Court (that supposedly filmed the employee stealing a working tool) was not good enough to prove the alleged robbery. The Labour Court considered that the employer neither filed a printed copy (photographs) of the surveillance camera footage, nor have a notary public certifying its content, date and time of filming, nor was the footage ratified by the employees that supposedly watched the surveillance cameras.
There is no specific legal provision regarding the use of film footage as evidence. Scholars have construed that surveillance cameras are like a series of photographs, similar to a written document, the authenticity of which has to be proven in order to be admitted as evidence.
This case law shows that Labour Courts in Argentina understand that for surveillance-camera footage to be used as evidence in a court claim, some legal requirements must be met and have to be ratified by other means of evidence.