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Emails sent or received by the employee using the IT tool made available to him by the employer for the purposes of his work are presumed to be of a professional nature . The employer has the right to open them in the absence of the person concerned, unless they are identified as personal. However, the internal regulations may contain provisions restricting the employer’s power of consultation, by subjecting it to other conditions.
In this case, for example, the internal regulations required the employee to be present to access their professional email without distinguishing between personal and professional emails, which the employer did not respect.
If the employer disregards these more restrictive provisions; as was the case here, the information collected cannot be used to prove employee misconduct. The dismissal of this employee is then without real and serious cause.
Lawyer Grégory DAMY Nice labor law