As it is known, company employees are obliged to act in accordance with the principles of good faith and ethics, honesty and trust in the workplace and to keep the company’s trade secrets without prejudice to the interests of the company. In this context, in the decision of the 9th Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation dated 26.09.2022 and numbered 2022/11208 E., 2022/10410 K. (“Court of Cassation Decision”)

“… the plaintiff’s behaviour in the form of accessing the main computer of the Company and saving the files related to the Company’s commercial affairs to the computer in his possession and to another portable device, violating the confidentiality agreement signed between the parties, the computer embezzlement agreement, the e-mail embezzlement report, the data processing security regulation, the termination made by the employer within the legal period was based on just cause, accordingly, the plaintiff was not entitled to severance and notice compensation, … it was decided to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that …”

Pursuant to Article 25/2-e of the Labour Law No. 4857, although the employee was terminated for just cause, the claims and demands put forward by the Company against the employee who made the demands were justified on the grounds that “Considering the field of activity of the employer, the information that must be protected due to the nature of the work performed, the position of the plaintiff in the defendant Company, and the contracts between the parties, it has been concluded that the plaintiff’s unauthorised copying of information belonging to some companies operating with the defendant Company constitutes a violation of the duty of loyalty.”

Therefore, the Court of Cassation Decision constitutes a precedent for the interpretation that the employee who does not comply with the policies and procedures existing within the company, the measures taken against confidentiality and violates the measures taken by the company may be interpreted as acting against the duty of loyalty, and points out that the sanction of termination for just cause may be applied to the employee who causes a violation in matters related to the Protection of Personal Data and Trade Secrets.

In a similar matter, the Decision of the 50 Civil Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice dated 09.11.2022 and numbered 2022/2625 E. 2022/1730 K. “…the plaintiff’s …. and sent messages to him, violated the provisions regarding the processing and protection of personal data, and the conditions for the defendant to terminate the employment contract for just cause in accordance with Article 25/2-e of the Law No. 4857 …” supports that the violation of the KVKK is included in the reasons for termination for just cause according to the nature of the concrete event.

These decisions, which we consider to be an important step, constitute strong gains for companies against malicious employees.