Lidl apologizes for spying on workers

German discount grocery chain Lidl published a large apology for systematically spying on its employees in newspapers across the country on Monday.

Lidl apologizes for spying on workers
Photo: DPA

According to the ad, Lidl is “very concerned” about allegations that the company used detective services to spy on workers, actions that don’t reflect “the existing fair treatment of employees by the company.”

“If employees feel discredited and personally injured, we regret this greatly and apologize emphatically,” the ad continued.

Lidl justified the use of detective services as a means of curbing some €80 million in theft each year.

“In some cases, investigations also recorded some employee personal information – which we didn’t want,” the ad said. “We’ve learned from these incidents and in the future we will work together with employees to protect the company from losses.”

Last week German weekly news magazine Stern broke the story that the chain had used miniature cameras that are officially meant to provide branch security to record workers on the job.

Logs record the day and hour that employees use the restroom, with whom they have possible love interests, and which employees seem incapable or just “seem introverted and naive,” the magazine reported.

The logs Stern referred to are from the German states of Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein.