- Court of Justice rules on national legislation protecting DPOs against employment termination (Leistritz AG v LH)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Information Law analysis: The Court of Justice has ruled that national employment legislation, according to which a data protection officer’s (DPO) employment may only be terminated for just cause, are compatible with EU Law, but subject to restrictions. The ruling ends the uncertainty as to whether Member States may adopt stricter rules to protect a DPO against employment termination than those provided for under the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR). However, the Court of Justice has made it clear that national provisions must not be allowed to undermine the objectives of the GDPR by preventing a termination in certain cases. For that reason, the decision can also be seen as a mandate to take greater account of GDPR objectives when deciding whether to terminate a DPO’s employment. This may lead to conflicts with traditional employment law principles of some Member States. The ruling is therefore of particular interest for legal practitioners dealing with labour and data protection law as well as for public and private bodies employing DPOs. Written by Thomas Albermann, associate at Bird & Bird LLP.
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