A Frenchman has won the legal right to be boring at work, after a court in Paris ruled his employer was wrong to fire him for not going out or hanging out with colleagues enough.
Cubik Partners, a management consultancy, says it uses a ‘fun’ approach to its team-building and encourage staff to go out to the pub after work. But Mr. T, whose real name was not disclosed, didn’t want to take part in the team-building exercises.
According to him, he was entitled to ‘critical behaviour and to refuse company policy based on incitement to partake in various excesses’.
The company decided to fire him in 2015 for ‘professional inadequacy’, accusing the employee of being boring, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Cubik Partners also argued that Mr. T was a poor listener and difficult to work with.
But in a ruling made last week and revealed Thursday, Paris’ Court of Cassation decided the man had a right to refuse to party — ordering Cubik Partners to pay out £2,574 to the former employee.
The company wasn’t allowed to make him ‘forcibly participate 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’, the court said.
He had a fundamental right to dignity and respect of private life, said the court, adding that the employee was expressing his freedom of expression by not taking part.
The court went further, adding that the company engaged in ‘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’.
Mr T has demanded another £395,630 in damages, which the court is set to examine in a follow-up hearing.