A man won the legal right to not be 'fun' at work after refusing to embrace 'excessive alcoholism' and 'promiscuity'

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  • The man was fired from a consultancy firm in 2015 for not adhering to the company's "fun" values.

  • These included "excessive alcoholism" and "promiscuity", per the court case filing.

  • The court ruled the employee was exercising his "freedom of expression" by refusing to participate.

A French supreme court of appeal has ruled that companies can't fire their workers for failing to be sufficiently "fun."

This comes after a man, referred to as Mr T, was fired from the Paris consultancy firm Cubik Partners in 2015 for refusing to participate in after-work drinks and team-building activities.

According to the court documents, Mr T joined the firm in February 2011 and was promoted in 2014, but was fired a year later in March 2015 for "professional incompetence" - specifically, his refusal to adhere to the company's "fun" values. Cubik Partners also said Mr T was difficult to work with and a poor listener.

According to the Court of Cassation, the company's "fun" values included regular obligatory social events that culminated in "excessive alcoholism encouraged by colleagues who made very large quantities of alcohol available," as well as "practices pushed by colleagues involving promiscuity, bullying and incitement to various excesses."

The court also outlined various "humiliating and intrusive" practices promoted by Cubik Partners including simulations of sexual acts and the obligation to share a bed with a colleague.

In a judgement issued on November 9, France's Court of Cassation found that by citing Mr T's lack of participation in the company's "fun" values and "critical behavior" as one of the reasons for his dismissal meant he had been  wrongfully fired by Cubik Partners.

The court ruled that Mr T was exercising his "freedom of expression" by refusing to participate in the company's social activities, and that performing this "fundamental freedom" could not be a reason for his dismissal.

Cubik Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Mr T's demand of 461,406 euros in damages was previously rejected by the Paris Court of Appeal in 2021, but the recent ruling by the Court of Cassation - a higher-level court - partially overturned this judgement.

The court ordered Cubik Partners to pay Mr T 3,000 euros and will examine Mr T's demand for a further 461,406 euros at a later stage.


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