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

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A man fired by a Paris-based consulting firm for allegedly failing to have enough “fun” at work was wrongfully dismissed, France’s highest court has ruled.

The man, referred to in court documents as Mr. T, was fired from Quebec Partners in 2015 after refusing to participate in seminars and weekend social events that lawyers said were “excessive,” according to court documents. Alcoholism” and “debauchery” were included. “

Mr T had argued that the “fun” culture at the company included “degrading and intrusive behaviours”, including mock sexual acts, crude nicknames and sharing his bed with another employee during work functions. Includes forcing sharing.

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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, not dismissal. base on.

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

The company also criticized his sometimes “flamboyant and discouraging tone” towards subordinates, and an alleged inability to accept feedback and differing points of view.

Quebec Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.

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PwC’s boozy UK event ends with coma and lawsuit

This is not the first time a company’s drinking culture has come under the microscope in court proceedings. A number of recent incidents have highlighted the involvement of alcohol in white-collar professional culture, even as the #MeToo movement has highlighted workplace misconduct globally. Some firms have introduced “booze chaperones” at company events in hopes of avoiding such problems.

An auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers in England sued the company this year in a case filed in London’s High Court over serious injuries at a work event that called “excessive” drinking a “competitive advantage.” ” Made it. Michael Brocki went into a coma and had part of his skull removed after attending a company event, The Post reported.

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In March, insurance marketplace Lloyds of London fined member firm Atrium Underwriters a record £1 million (about $1.2 million) for “serious failings”, including a “boys’ night out” where employees, including two Senior executives, “participated in inappropriate work. Early games and heavy drinking, and made sexual comments about female colleagues,” the Guardian reported at the time.

France is among the most liberal countries in the world in terms of alcohol consumption. The legal minimum drinking age in public is 18, but there is no regulation for private drinking.

Taylor Telford contributed to this report.

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