Restrictions in the Workplace
With reference to the company devices granted to the employees for work purposes, the employer is entitled to block Internet access, or access to certain websites only and/or social networks, for the entire working day or during certain times.
Can the employer monitor, access, review the employee’s electronic communications?
The employer has no control over employees’ personal devices. However, should the employee use his/her personal device during working time and/or in violation of the relevant company policy, this may trigger disciplinary action.
Employee’s Use of Social Media to Disparage the Employer or Divulge Confidential Information
According to the specific circumstances of the case in question, the employee’s utilisation of social media to disparage the employer or divulge confidential information may trigger disciplinary action (even dismissal) and may constitute a crime as well.
On 1 August 2014, the Tribunal of Milan upheld a disciplinary dismissal as valid, based on the fact that the employee posted on Facebook a picture showing him and other colleagues, along with offensive comment against the company. According to the Judge, such behavior is considered as clearly breaching the fundamental duty of diligence, honesty and loyalty required by the employees, therefore the disciplinary dismissal was lawful and justified.