Under Italian law, the employer can appoint an authorized private investigative agency to be able to carry out an employee investigation, but the Italian supreme court sets limits on investigations, i.e. investigations must not violate the worker’s privacy.
Please note that the employer has the right to control their employees but at the same time in carrying out the control must comply with the principles regarding the protection of personal data:
- Principle of necessity, control must be necessary;
- Principle of purpose, the control must be aimed at guaranteeing the security or business continuity or at preventing or repressing offenses;
- Principle of proportionality, the employer must adopt forms of control that are proportionate and do not exceed the purpose of the verification;
- Security principle, the collected data must be adequately protected.
In essence, the employer can appoint a private investigator to follow his employee to make sure that the latter does not violate the obligation of corporate loyalty or abuse the permits provided for by Law 104.
With sentence no. 15094/2018 the Court of Cassation dictated the lines to be followed between legitimacy and not of private investigations on employees.
In addition, the same Court clarified which are the cases in which the investigation of the employer on its employees can be considered legitimate.
Still, in the aforementioned sentence, the Supreme Court also specifies that the employer’s power to resort to the private investigation can be exercised in two cases:
- in the presence of clear evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the worker;
- faced with a simple suspicion that the offense by the worker may have been committed or is about to be committed.
Therefore, the investigative activity is lawful provided that it is not attributable to verification of the mere fulfillment of the work obligation. If the employer decides to resort to the use of investigative agencies, the violated right must be identified.
Private investigations on employees play a fundamental role in the company production cycle, which are a relevant response to contain or avoid phenomena of theft, embezzlement, absenteeism, false illness, and abuse of the permits provided for by law. 104/92 and unfair competition.
If you have any suspicions about an employee, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our investigators have acquired considerable experience in employee investigations aimed at finding documentary evidence to be produced in court.
Once the investigations have been completed, an investigative report will be issued which has evidential value and which can therefore be validly used in court to document and prove the unlawful behavior of unfaithful partners and employees toward the company. In addition, detectives can participate, as witnesses, in the trial proceedings.
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