A French man just won the legal right to say “f*ck no” to every holiday party for the rest of his life, after challenging his old job’s decision to fire him because he wasn’t “fun.”
The man, referred to only as Mr T, was working for a consultancy firm called Cubik Partners in 2015 when he was axed for “professional incompetence,” according to court documents from the ruling earlier this month. He'd been working there for about four years and was promoted in 2014, but he was fired after failing to embody the company's "fun and pro" values.
Those values, according to his complaint, were a bit much. Employees were expected to drink, party and rib each other in ways that looked like bullying to Mr T. He says many of the team-building exercises promoted "excessive alcoholism," "promiscuity" and included "humiliating," "intrusive" and "mock sexual" acts.
Many of these activities, including after-work drinks and other activities, were mandatory according to Mr T, and he simply didn't want to be part of it.
The company said it was trying to promote a "fun and pro" culture with these events.
The court ruled that these expectations were over the top, and that Mr T should have been allowed his “freedom of expression” to say no.
France’s Court of Cassation awarded Mr T a sum of €3,000 earlier this month in the case.
Mr T had previously asked for €461,406 but the request was rejected last year, prompting him to take things up to France's highest court.
Olivier Cornut, the CEO of Cubik Partners, insisted in a statement that Mr T was fired for "strictly professional reasons" that were "real and serious."
"This employee was obviously not dismissed because he refused to share a so-called 'aperitif culture' and to participate in conviviality moments organized by the company," Cornut told Australia's 7 News. "The professional shortcomings against this employee have been established," he added, citing Cubik's arguments in court.
France's top court will take another look at the case to determine how much more Cubik might owe Mr T in damages.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.