Private Surfing at the workplace

Termination of the employment contract without period of notice

On 26 April 2002, the Higher Labor Court (Landesarbeitsgericht – LAG) upheld the effectiveness of an immediate termination of the employment in case of employees surfing privately the net at the work place: Based on a judgment from the Labor Court of Hanover.Although private surfing was forbidden by the employer on the basis of an employment agreement, an employee had used the company-owned Internet access for his private purposes.

The Labor Court of Hanover has confirmed the termination of the employee’s termination as effective. The employee had downloaded files with extra content on the workplace PC from the Internet and published an appealing website on the Internet. This happened during working hours. The employee had to pay the costs of the appeal.Since the breach of the employment contract was deliberate and very extensive, the employer had the right to terminate without notice.

If surfing at the workplace is not expressly permitted, please clarify any use of the Internet at the workplace beforehand with your employer. The employer should determine the private Internet use of his employees in a company agreement with the works council.It can be a controversial topic in the context of “rights of personality” Persönlichkeitsrecht.

For example, if an employer prohibits his employees from communicating via the Internet, it can become difficult to check the situation without an attentive control. However, the monitoring of a worker without his knowledge and consent can coincide with the violation of his “rights of personality”.

Let us advise you to find an individual solution for your workplace requirements!