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

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A man won the legal right to not be 'fun' at work after refusing to embrace 'excessive alcoholism' and 'promiscuity'
The man worked for Paris-based consultancy Cubik Partners (not pictured).Britt Erlanson/Getty Images
  • 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.
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A French court has ruled that companies can't fire their workers for failing to be sufficiently "fun."

The ruling 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 – the highest in the French legal system – 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.

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In a judgement issued on November 9, the court found that because Mr T's lack of participation in the company's "fun" values and "critical behavior" were reasons cited for his dismissal 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 (about $479,000) in damages was previously rejected by the Paris Court of Appeal in 2021, but the recent ruling by the Court of Cassation partially overturned this judgement.

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

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