Can the employer monitor, access, review the employee’s electronic communications?
Spanish law recognises the employer’s right to take the most appropriate measures to control the work of their employees, so as long as they do not violate their fundamental rights. There is no express legal prohibition for the employee not to use social media at the work place. Such a prohibition can be regulated by the employer by written form, with a detailed policy on surveillance and control of the company’s property and the use of social media tools during working hours. Although there is no need to seek approval with the employees’ representatives to implement or negotiate such policies, some companies choose to negotiate directly with these representative bodies, before communicating such policies to the individual employees.
Employee’s Use of Social Media to Disparage the Employer or Divulge Confidential Information
Without clear policies, it can be difficult to lawfully sanction employees for misuse of social media. It is important to have a social media policy implemented by the employer and communicated to the employees, in order to control the use of company resources and tools and some courts in first instance consider that it is also necessary to include in such a policy that it may be used for disciplinary reasons against the employee. The company will be entitled to enforce the policy and sanction the employee whenever breached.