Can the employer restrict the employee’s use of Internet and social media during working hours?
The employer can monitor and access the employee’s electronic communications or any other application as long as they are related to the employee’s position or the electronic mail and/or application is provided by the employer as a working tool. Any control on the employee’s electronic communications must attend to the principle of reasonability and proportionality, in order to avoid a possible breach of the employee’s intimacy.
Employee’s use of social media to disparage the employer or divulge confidential information
There is also no specific provision in Colombia regarding this matter. However, the case law has understood that while social media is part of the employee’s intimacy circle, and therefore cannot be monitored by the employer, there are some actions that may cause harm to the employer through social media. The use of social media to disparage the employer or to divulge confidential information of the Company may cause damages to his public image and his interests, which then allows him to initiate disciplinary measures as a consequence of this situation. In any case, the divulgation of confidential information by the employee is considered by Colombian labor law as an express prohibition and can lead eventually to the possibility to terminate the employment contract by the employer, alleging a fair cause.