Good question. Stéphanie Martinier and Mathilde Pepin of Proskauer write:
The French Supreme Court sanctions a company for having produced complete employee pay slips in a litigation.
It is not news that the rules of evidence and data privacy laws may be conflicting. A recent decision of the French Supreme Court illustrates this tension and highlights the need for litigators to take into account data privacy principles before producing evidence containing personal information.In this case, a company had organized mandatory staff representatives’ elections. The company had started a court action against three election candidates aiming at opposing their candidature due to certain requirements related to their job classifications not being met. Among the evidence produced by the company were the complete pay slips of the three employees. All of the trade unions that were participants in the election process were also parties to the litigation and as such, they all received copies of the evidence produced by the company.
The employees started an emergency proceeding to have the pay slips immediately removed from the court file, claiming that it was an invasion of privacy. The employees based their claim, among other things, on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The company argued that it needed to provide the pay slips to evidence its claim.
The French Supreme Court disagreed and ruled in favor of the employees, recognizing an invasion to the employees’ privacy.
Read more on Privacy Law Blog.