Mr T argued that the company’s “fun” culture included “humiliating and intrusive practices” including mock sexual activity, crude nicknames and forcing him to share his bed with another employee during work functions.
In its ruling this month, the Court of Cassation ruled that the man was entitled to “freedom of expression” and that refusing to participate in social activities was a “fundamental freedom” under labor and human rights laws, and not grounds for his dismissal.
The man was hired by Cubic Partners as a senior consultant in February 2011 and promoted to director in February 2014, according to court documents. He was fired in March 2015 for “professional incompetence” after allegedly failing to adhere to the firm’s compliance standards.
The company also complained of his sometimes “brittle and condescending tone” to subordinates and his inability to accept feedback and differing points of view.
Cubic Partners did not immediately respond to a Washington Post request for comment.
This is not the first time an organization’s drinking culture has come under the microscope in court proceedings. Several recent incidents have highlighted the penetration of alcohol into white-collar professional culture, even The #MeToo movement has shone a spotlight On workplace misconduct worldwide. Some companies have introduced “booze chaperones” at company events in hopes of avoiding such problems.
An auditor at England’s PricewaterhouseCoopers has sued the company for serious injuries at a work event where “excess” drinking created a “competitive quality” in a case filed at the High Court in London. this year. Michael Brockie went into a coma and had part of his skull removed after attending a company event, the Post reported.
March, in the insurance market Lloyds of London Fined member firm Atrium Underwriters a record £1 million (about $1.2 million) for “serious failings”, including a “lads’ night out” where staff, including two senior executives, “participated in inappropriate initiation games and heavy drinking, and made female colleagues sexual comments about,” the Guardian reported at the time.
France is one of the most liberal countries in the world when it comes to alcohol consumption. The legal minimum age for public consumption of alcohol is 18, but there are no restrictions on private consumption of alcohol.
Taylor Telford contributed to this report.