Making a back-up of company data on your own hard disk is not necessarily theft, the district court judges. Although the copies were made, the company was unable to demonstrate that the information was subsequently distributed further, according to a ruling published by the Court of The Hague on Friday.
The ruling was made in a case between an employer and a dismissed employee. The employee had copied business-sensitive information from a work laptop to a hard drive for private use. According to the employer, that was contrary to the confidentiality agreement concluded.
The subdistrict court does not agree with this. According to the court, the employee cannot be accused of having been guilty of spreading the company-sensitive information outside the organization.
Since the employee was dismissed because he allegedly violated the confidentiality agreement, the court declared this dismissal illegal. The company must therefore, among other things, pay damages of tens of thousands of euros. This includes the salary that the former staff member should have received.