Frenchman wins right not to have “fun” at work in case of unfair dismissal


France’s top court has ruled that a man fired from a Paris-based consultancy for allegedly not having enough “fun” at work was wrongfully fired.

The man, referred to in court documents as Mr. T, was fired from Cubik Partners in 2015 after refusing to attend seminars and weekend social events that his attorneys, according to court documents, described as “excessive alcoholism” and “promiscuity.” ”

Mr. T had argued that the company’s “fun” culture included “humiliating and intrusive practices” including fake sexual acts, crude nicknames and being required to share his bed with another employee while at work.

In its ruling this month, the Court of Cassation ruled that the man was entitled to “freedom of expression” and that refusing to participate in social activities was a “fundamental freedom” under labor and human rights laws and not grounds for his dismissal.

According to court documents, the man was hired by Cubik Partners in February 2011 as a senior consultant and was promoted to director in February 2014. He was fired in March 2015 for “professional incompetence” for allegedly disregarding the firm’s social values.

The company also criticized his sometimes “brittle and demotivating tone” towards subordinates and his alleged inability to accept feedback and different viewpoints.

Cubik Partners did not immediately respond to a Washington Post request for comment.

PwC’s boisterous UK event ends in coma and lawsuit

It’s not the first time a company’s drinking culture has come under scrutiny in court cases. A series of recent incidents have highlighted alcohol’s entrenchment in employee professional culture, even after the #MeToo movement has spotlighted workplace misconduct around the world. Some companies have introduced “alcohol companions” at corporate events in hopes of avoiding such problems.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant in England is suing the company over serious injuries he sustained at a work event that made “excessive” drinking “a competitive virtue” in a lawsuit brought in London’s High Court this year. Michael Brockie went into a coma and part of his skull was removed after attending the company event, The Post reported.

In March, insurance marketplace Lloyd’s of London fined member firm Atrium Underwriters £1million (about US$1.2million) for “serious negligence”, including a “boys night out” attended by staff, including two senior executives , “participated in inappropriate acts”. opening games and heavy drinking and making sexual comments about female colleagues,” the Guardian reported at the time.

France is one of the most liberal countries in the world when it comes to alcohol consumption. The legal drinking age in public is 18, but there is no regulation for private drinking.

Taylor Telford contributed to this report.

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