LAG Hessen - 9 Sa 1431/19

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LAG Hessen - 9 Sa 1431/19
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Court: LAG Hessen (Germany)
Jurisdiction: Germany
Relevant Law: Article 15(1) GDPR
Decided: 10.06.2021
Parties: Transporting Company
National Case Number/Name: 9 Sa 1431/19
European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:DE:LAGHE:2021:0610.9SA1431.19.00
Appeal from: LAG Wiesbaden (Germany)
6 Ca 396/19
Appeal to: Not appealed
Original Language(s): German
Original Source: Bürgerservice Hessenrecht (in German)
Initial Contributor: Jannik

The Regional Labour Court of Hesse decided that an employer who cannot prove the existence of overriding confidentiality interests has to provide information pursuant to Article 15 GDPR to an employee, even if such information can be used in defence against criminal proceedings initiated by the employer.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

The controller, a transporting company located in Germany, employed the data subject for the delivery and assembly of goods. The company filed criminal charges against the employee for aggravated fraud based on falsely overcharged travel expenses and terminated the employment contract.

In order to prove their innocence, the employee requested information pursuant to Article 15 GDPR from the controller, arguing that the information was required for a proper defence within the criminal proceding. The company did not name any interest in secrecy or conflicting interests worthy of protection but refused to provide the information requested. It claimed that the access to confidential data prior to the conclusion of the criminal proceeding resulted in an abuse of rights.

In a first instance, the Labour Court of Wiesbaden decided that the defendant was entitled to receive the information requested because the controller did not provide evidence its overriding confidentiality interests. The data subject filed an appeal.

Holding[edit | edit source]

The Regional Labour Court of Hesse held that the company's confidentiality interests did not override those of the defendant in effective legal protection recognized by the GDPR. Although the purpose of the right to access is to enable the control of lawfulness of the processing of personal data, the pursuit of further purposes and different motives, such as the exercise of defence rights in a criminal proceeding, does not justify a refusal.

At the same time, the data subject is not required to limit his request for information. The individual pieces of information listed in the application correspond to the standardized requirements of Article 15(1) GDPR and represent the right to information embodied therein. In conclusion, the court upheld the previous court's decision as the company failed to sufficiently substantiate their concerns.

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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]

The decision below is a machine translation of the German original. Please refer to the German original for more details.

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