A French worker has been awarded $4,630 (€3,000) for wrongful dismissal after he was fired for not being “fun” enough at work.
The French man was fired from his job for “professional incompetence” after he refused to attend after-work drinks and team-building seminars. According to his former employer, the man didn’t adhere to the company’s “fun” values.
The man, who was referred to in court documents as Mr T, worked for Paris-based consultancy firm Cubik Partners from 2011 to 2015. According to Mr T’s lawyers, the company’s after-work drinks and seminars often included “excessive alcoholism” and “promiscuity”.
Mr T also argued the company’s “fun” culture involved “humiliating and intrusive practices” such as mock sexual acts, crude nicknames and obligating him to share a bed with another employee during work seminars.
Mr T was hired as a senior consultant for the firm in February 2011 and was later promoted to director in February 2014.
Cubik Partners fired him in March 2015 over his “professional incompetence”. The company accused him of being a poor listener and criticised his sometimes “brittle and demotivating” tone towards his subordinates and failure to accept different points of views.
The French Court of Cassation ruled the man was entitled to “freedom of expression”, and said his refusal to participate in social work activities was a “fundamental freedom” and not grounds for dismissal.
The court ordered Cubik Partners to pay the worker $4,630 (€3,000). Mr T asked for damages of around $713,000 (€461,406), which the court will examine at a later date.
The ruling follows a 2020 French court case where a worker won more than $60,000 (€40,000) after claiming his job was too boring.
The worker labelled his work a “descent into hell” and said his tasks had nothing to do with his actual job and caused his mental health to suffer.