French Court Sides with Employee Who Was Fired for Skipping Company Party

In the words of the legendary Beastie Boys hit, “you've gotta fight for your right *not* to party.” One Frenchman was able to do just this, Business Insider reports, following a recent ruling by France's top court in the wrongful termination case determined that he was not compelled to have a party.

A French tribunal has found that employers cannot fire employees because they aren't having enough “fun.”

The verdict follows the case of a man, Mr. T, who was dismissed from the Paris consulting company Cubik Partners in 2015 for refusing to take part in after-work drinks or team-building events.

According to court documents, the court documents show that Mr. T was hired by the firm in February of 2011. He was then promoted to the position in 2014 but was fired one year later in March of 2015 because of “professional incompetence” — specifically his disobedience to the firm's “fun” values. Cubik Partners also said Mr. T was difficult to work with and was a poor listener.

Based on that you may be thinking, the business has a point. It is expected that the employee will make an effort to connect with their colleagues. However, there's more to it.

What were the “fun” values at Cubik Partners, according to the judge? It was a requirement of the job to attend social events, which culminated into “excessive alcoholism encouraged by colleagues who made very large quantities of alcohol available,” in addition to “practices pushed by colleagues involving promiscuity, bullying and incitement to various excesses.”

It continues:

“The court ,which is the most prestigious within the French legal system – also detailed a variety of “humiliating and intrusive” practices that are promoted from Cubik Partners including simulations of sexual activities and the requirement to be in bed with a fellow employee.”

The court concluded that the firm did not allow the man in exercising the rights of his “fundamental freedom” of expression:

“The court decided that Mr. T exercised the right to his “freedom of expression” by not participating in social events organized by the company and that exercising this “fundamental freedom” could not be a cause for his dismissal.”

The plaintiff didn't get the damages he sought; the appeals court ruled against his request for $500,000 and the higher court awarded him just a fraction of that amount, but stated it could increase the amount in the future.

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