French man wins right to not be ‘fun’ at work in wrongful termination case

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France’s highest court has ruled that a man fired by a Paris-based consultancy for allegedly not being “fun” enough at work was wrongfully dismissed.

The man, identified in court documents as Mr. T, was fired from Cubik Partners in 2015 after he refused to attend seminars and weekend social events where his lawyers alleged “excessive alcoholism” and “extravagance,” according to court documents. “

Mr T claimed the company’s “fun” culture included “degrading and harassing practices” including sexual taunts, crude name-calling and being forced to share his bed with another employee during work.

In a ruling this month, the cassation court ruled that the man had a right to “freedom of expression” and that refusing to participate in public activities was a “fundamental freedom” under labor and human rights laws, not grounds for his dismissal.

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The man was hired by Cubik Partners as a senior consultant in 2011, according to court documents. in February, and in 2014 promoted to director in February. in 2015 in March, he was fired for “professional incompetence” because he allegedly did not adhere to company values.

The company also criticized his sometimes “fragile and demotivating tone” towards subordinates and his alleged inability to accept feedback and differing points of view.

Cubik Partners did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.

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PwC’s tumult in the UK ends in a coma and a lawsuit

This is not the first time that a company’s drinking culture has come under the spotlight. Several recent events have highlighted the entrenchment of alcohol in white-collar professional culture, even after the #MeToo movement has brought workplace misconduct to the fore around the world. Some companies, hoping to avoid such problems, have introduced “boozer attendants” at company events.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (England) auditor sued the firm at the High Court in London this year over serious injuries he suffered at a work event that made “moderate” drinking a “competitive virtue”. Michael Brockie fell into a coma and had part of his skull removed after attending a company event, The Post reported.

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March. insurance market Lloyd’s of London has been fined a record 1 million pounds (about $1.2 million) for “serious failings” including a “lads’ night” where staff, including two senior executives, “participated in inappropriate events.” initiation games and heavy drinking and made sexual comments to female colleagues,” The Guardian reported at the time.

France is one of the most liberal countries in the world in terms of alcohol consumption. The legal minimum age for drinking alcohol in public places is 18, but drinking alcohol privately is not regulated.

Taylor Telford contributed to this report.


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