Related video: Judge filmed laying in bed in underwear while smoking during court hearing
If you’re French and boring, you might now have the right to be dull in law, after the country’s Court of Cessation ruled a man’s employer violated his rights by firing him for not being “fun” enough and going out for work drinks.
The man, referred to only as Mr T (not that one, you fool) won the case against the Parisian consultancy firm Cubik Partners, who describe their “motto” as “fun and pro” – yes, really.
The case was decided last month, but the actual verdict was only revealed this week.
According to The Telegraph, Mr T was fired in 2015 for “professional inadequacy” because he didn’t want to take part in teambuilding events for staff, and since made the argument to the court that he basically had a different definition of “fun”.
He also argued that he had the right to “refuse company policy based on incitement to partake in various excesses”.
It may all sound rather pedantic, but the court agreed with Mr T in its incredible ruling, stating that not everyone is keen on “forcibly [participating] in seminars and end-of-week drinks frequently ending up in excessive alcohol intake, encouraged by associates who made very large quantities of alcohol available”.
In a more legal sense, it concluded Cubik Partners had violated Mr T’s “fundamental right to dignity and respect of private life” and his “freedom of expression” – which he exercised in not partaking in the activities.
Of course, the right to privacy without interference and to freedom of expression are both enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
Oh, and that “fun and pro” motto we mentioned? The court said such a culture led to “humiliating and intrusive practices regarding privacy, such as simulated sexual acts, the obligation to share a bed with a colleague during seminars, the use of nicknames to designate people and hanging up deformed and made-up photos in offices”.
The decision – which could potentially be a landmark ruling – also saw the former employee awarded €3,000, with the potential for an extra €461,000 slapped on top in damages, if the court agrees.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to excuse ourselves from the work Christmas party…
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