In the case of an employer who engaged a private investigator to monitor one of his employees, the German Federal Employment Court ruled on 19 February 2015 that the monitored employee is entitled to damages, if his general right to privacy was violated by the secret video surveillance. The employee had been unable to work due to illness and verified this with several medical certificates. The employer mistrusted these certificates and instructed the private investigator to prove the work capacity of the employee.
The German Federal Employment Court stated that, because of the high evidential value of medical certificates, the employer must have reasonable doubts as to the legitimacy of the certificate to justify the surveillance, which was not the case here. It is important to note that the claim amount for damages is very restrictive. In the above case, the court granted EUR 1,000.