No More Awkward Happy Hours
For refusing to take part in seminars and weekend social events, a French man referred to in court documents as Mr. T was fired by his employer, Cubik Partners, in 2015.
Why did he refuse?
According to his lawyers, his refusal was because these “work events” were rife with “excessive alcoholism” and “promiscuity.” He expressed his discomfort with the events, which he said involved “humiliating and intrusive practices,” including mock sexual acts, crude nicknames, and sharing a bed with a colleague.
Why are they in court?
Mr. T was not satisfied with the reasons for his sack. Hired as a senior consultant in February 2011, he rose to the post of Director in February 2014 but was fired after a year for “professional incompetence”, and for not adhering to company values. In addition to that, the company noted his sometimes “brittle and demotivating tone” toward his employees, as well as his inability to accept feedback and differing opinion.
Has the court ruled on the case?
Yes, it has. In what has been tagged a victory for introverts everywhere, Mr. T won his case as the court wasn’t convinced by the company’s arguments. Noting his entitlement to “freedom of expression”, the Court of Cassation ruled that Mr. T’s reluctance to participate in social activities was backed by his “fundamental freedom” under labor and human rights laws, and was not grounds for dismissal.
His demand for €461,406 ($481,207) in compensation was rejected in a previous hearing on the case, but after his victory, the judge ordered Cubik to pay him around €3,000 ($3,120) in damages.