A man won the legal right not to be ‘nice’ at work after refusing to embrace ‘excessive alcoholism’ and ‘promiscuity’

The man worked for Paris-based consulting firm Cubik Partners (not pictured).Britt Erlanson/Getty Images

  • The man was fired from a consultancy in 2015 because he did not adhere to the company’s “fun” values.

  • These include “excessive alcoholism” and “promiscuity,” according to the lawsuit filed.

  • The court ruled that the employee was exercising his “freedom of expression” by refusing to cooperate.

A French Supreme Court has ruled that companies cannot fire their employees because they are not ‘nice’ enough.

This comes after a man named Mr T was fired from Parisian consulting 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 company in February 2011 and was promoted in 2014, but was fired a year later in March 2015 for “professional incompetence” – specifically his refusal to abide by the ” fun” values ​​of the company. 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 mandatory social events culminating in “excessive alcoholism, encouraged by co-workers who made very large amounts of alcohol available,” as well as “co-worker-pushed practices related to promiscuity, bullying and incitement to various excesses.”

The court also outlined several “degrading and intrusive” practices promoted by Cubik Partners, including simulations of sexual acts and the obligation to share the bed with a colleague.

In a November 9 judgment, France’s Court of Cassation ruled that 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 that he had been wrongly 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 exercising this “fundamental freedom” could not be grounds for his dismissal.

Cubik Partners did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Mr T’s claim of EUR 461,406 in damages was rejected by the Paris Court of Appeal earlier in 2021, but the recent ruling of the Court of Cassation – a higher court – partially overturned this judgment.

The court ordered Cubik Partners to pay Mr T EUR 3,000 and will examine Mr T’s claim to pay an additional EUR 461,406 at a later stage.

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