Illicit use of the corporate phone legitimises dismissal for just cause (Il Sole 24 Ore – Il Quotidiano del Lavoro, 21 June 2017 – Vittorio De Luca, Elena Cannone)
The Labour section of the Court of Cassation, with judgement No. 4262 dated February 17, 2017, addressed the issue of the lawfulness of dismissal for just cause ordered to an employee holding a middle-management position for the personal use of a mobile phone owned by the employer and provided for business reasons. The Court of Cassation, believing appropriate the ruling of the judges on the matter, excluded the alleged breach of Article 4 of the Workers’ Statute claimed by the employee on the basis of the fact that the employer, in order to ascertain the unlawful conduct, did not use any audiovisual equipment or other equipment designed for remote control of the work activity, but based itself on the results emerged from telephone call logs. In fact, according to the Court, “it is entirely legitimate that the employer, in monitoring its activity, may detect anomalies in the use of assets provided to its employees, such as mobile phones, from which logs, related to voice or data traffic (provided in the invoice, moreover with appropriate omissions and redactions) may lead to detecting anomalies such as to induce the employer to believe that there may be abuses performed by the user of the devices”. The Court of Cassation, therefore, confirmed the full legitimacy of the dismissal ordered, considering the dismissal fully proportionate to the offence committed by the employee.