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

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France’s highest court has ruled that a man who was fired by a Paris consulting firm for allegedly failing to be “fun” enough at work was wrongfully dismissed.

The man, referred to in court documents as Mr T, was sacked from Cubik Partners in 2015 after refusing to take part in weekend seminars and social events which his lawyers argued, according to court documents, included “excessive alcoholism” and “inflexibility. “

Mr. T has argued that the “fun” culture at the company included “humiliating and intrusive practices” including fake sexual acts, crude nicknames and being forced to share his bed with another employee during work functions.

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In its ruling this month, the Cassation Court ruled that the man has a right to “freedom of expression” and that refusing to participate in social activities is a “fundamental freedom” under labor and human rights laws, and not grounds for his dismissal.

According to court documents, the man was hired by Cubik Partners as a senior consultant in February 2011 and promoted to director in February 2014. He was dismissed for “professional incompetence” in March 2015 for allegedly failing with adherence to the company’s core values.

The company also criticized his “brittle and depressing” tone towards subordinates, and his alleged inability to accept feedback and different points of view.

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

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PwC’s boozy event in the UK ends in a coma and a lawsuit

This is not the first time a company’s drinking culture has come under the microscope in court cases. A number of recent incidents have highlighted the roots of alcohol in white-collar professional culture, even after the #MeToo movement has highlighted workplace misconduct worldwide. Some companies have introduced “beverage chaperones” at company events in the hope of avoiding such problems.

An auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers in England sued the company for serious injuries he sustained at a work event and “made a competitive virtue” of “excessive” drinking, in a lawsuit filed in London’s High Court this year. Michael Brockie went into a coma and had part of his skull removed after taking part in the company’s event, The Post reported.

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In March, insurance market Lloyd’s of London fined member firm Atrium Underwriters 1 million pounds (about $1.2 million) for “serious failings,” including a “lads’ night out” where employees took , including two senior executives, “involved in inappropriate proceedings. starting games and drinking heavily, and made sexual comments about female colleagues,” the Guardian reported at the time.

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

Taylor Telford contributed to this report.

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