This article is more than 1 year old

Man wins court case against employer that fired him for not liking boozy, forced 'fun' culture

You gotta fight... for your right... to not be an idiot

"Fun" may not be a word many associate with the IT coalface but in the glamorous world of consulting it is mandatory, according to French court papers that absolve an employee of being an alleged party pooper.

The ruling in the Court of Cassation – an appellate court and the highest in France – says that the man, referred to only as Mr T [insert A-Team joke here], was sacked by Cubik Partners in 2015 after four years at the company for "professional incompetence."

But far from failing to meet performance requirements, it was claimed that Mr T refused to adhere to the company's values. "Fun & pro, that's our motto!" Cubik's website burbles (in French).

However, Mr T said that these values mainly manifested themselves as obligatory work events where "excessive alcoholism" was "encouraged by colleagues who made very large quantities of alcohol available" and included "practices pushed by colleagues involving promiscuity, bullying and incitement to various excesses."

Mr T also claimed that "that the 'fun & pro' culture prevailing in the company was characterized by humiliating and intrusive practices in the private life such as mock sexual acts, the obligation to share his bed with another employee during seminars, the use of nicknames to designate people and the posting of distorted and made-up photos in offices."

Neither "fun" nor particularly "pro," it must be said.

In the ruling issued November 9, the court found that Mr T had been wrongfully dismissed because Cubik cited his "critical behavior" and refusal to participate in "incitement to various excesses." It said this was part of his "freedom of expression and opinion" and therefore not grounds for being fired.

This annulled a previous judgment by the Paris Court of Appeal in 2021. The rejection of a request for €461,406 (£400,000/$484,000) in damages was partially overturned, and Cubik was ordered to pay Mr T €3,000, with further damages to be determined at a later date. ®

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