On Tuesday, a court in Versaille fined the French subsidiary of IKEA €1 million ($1.2 million) for spying on its employees.
The court ordered IKEA France’s former CEO, Jean-Louis Baillot, a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of €50,000 ($60,500). Baillot did not admit to doing anything wrong during the trial.
The trial included 15 people including Baillot and was tried for having a “spying system” for current and prospective employees. The court document details that the company did so between 2009 and 2012.
IKEA France had apparently hired private investigators to find out more about their current or prospective employees. The court found how an internal audit suggested investigating a certain employee to find legal grounds on how to remove him.
A “model employee” was also investigated because of his behavior. The documents detail how he would “from one day to the next become very militant.”
In a statement, IKEA France says that it “strongly condemned these old facts.” The company has since then undergone changes to prevent events such a these to happen again. It has also since then apologized for the situation as it “seriously undermined the company’s values and ethical standards.”
The win became a great victor for workers and would be an example for companies to not implement similar measures that invade personal privacy.