Daily Management Review

French Court Slaps $1 Million On Ikea For Spying On Workers In France


French Court Slaps $1 Million On Ikea For Spying On Workers In France
The Swedish furniture retailer Ikea was found guilty of improperly using employee data by a French court which consequently ordered the company to pay a €1 million ($1.2 million).
This judgment was announced by a court in Versailles in France.
The case was filed against the French subsidiary of Ikea as well as against 15 other people which included the company’s former executives. The charge against the French subsidiary of company was that it had installed a "spying system" which was used against current and prospective employees between 2009 and 2012, said reports based on information gathered from court documents related to the case.
According to the judgment, a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of €50,000 ($60,500) was handed over to the former CEO of Ikea France, Jean-Louis Baillot.
During the course of the trial, Baillot had denied any wrongdoing in this matter.
Kin the judgment, the court provided details of how private investigators were paid by Ikea France for obtaining information about private data related to the company’s current and prospective employees. The company’s demands for an investigation into a "model employee" who had "from one day to the next become very militant" were also revealed in the court documents.
In another of the incidents of investigating employees as presented in the court was related to an internal audit that was enforced by the company which recommended "a discreet and thorough investigation" of one employee with the aim of revealing nay activity of the employee in his life that could lead to a police investigation as well as finding out any legal grounds that could be used for removing him from the company.
"IKEA France has always strongly condemned these old facts," the company said in a statement following the verdict, "and has apologized for this situation which seriously undermined the company's values and ethical standards." it has implemented measures to prevent a repeat of such practices, the company said.
The verdict was described as "a great victory for workers" by the French labor union Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), which was one of the plaintiffs in the case.
A statement from CGT said that the sanctions on Ikea and some of the former executives of the company "will serve as an example and will dissuade companies from spying on their employees and union representatives in the future".