Nov 29, 2022 - Economy

Right to bore: French workers can't be fired for being "no fun"

Illustration of a briefcase in a trash can.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Workers can't be fired for being "no fun" in France, an appeals court there ruled earlier this month. Doing so violates their freedom of expression.

Why it matters: In the U.S. you could theoretically be fired for being no fun — unless some kind of discrimination was at play.

  • "There's no freedom of expression in the American workplace," said Susan Crumiller, whose New York-based law firm handles workplace discrimination cases.

Details: The French case dates back to 2015 when a consultant for Cubik Partners in Paris, identified only as Mr. T in the ruling, was dismissed for "professional incompetence," which included his refusal to adhere to the "fun and pro" company values and practices of the company.

  • Those practices included social events that involved excessive alcohol consumption and "practices prone to promiscuity," according to the decision.
  • In the U.S., claims like these could "constitute a gender-discriminatory hostile work environment," Crumiller said. So, companies couldn't fire you, then, for being no fun, in that scenario.
  • If they did, you'd have a reason to sue. Though, that's no fun either.
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