Is it legal to have an employee followed?
According to the article L1222-4 of French employment legislation “no personal information about an employee can be collected by a method that has not previously been brought to his knowledge”. So, even if this is justified, an employer can not have an employee followed by a detective if he has not previously warned the employee that he will be followed.
However, in a judgement given on 6th December 2007, at the Social Chamber, appeal no. 06-43392, the Court of Cassation accepted as lawful a Bailiff’s statement drawn following the investigation of an employee by a private detective without his prior knowledge. The High Court confirmed the dismissal for gross misconduct of the employee who was proven to be working in his wife’s business whilst signed off from his actual employer for sickness. Tayllors recommend the inclusion of a clause in all employment contracts which states that the employee may be subject at any time to controls, either directly or indirectly, in particular by a doctor, technician, or expert engaged by the employer or for the benefit of the courts. In the case of a criminal offense committed by an employee, eg theft, the employer has every right to have the employee followed by a detective in order to collect evidence to support a complaint, then to dismiss the employee once he or she has been convicted by the courts.