A Frenchman has hit the headlines for taking his former employer, Interparfums, to court after having an existential crisis because his job is too boring. Is this a joke? Non.
The term “burn out”, when employees collapse due to overwork and stress, is well known. However, this individual has accused his employer of something much worse – being bored. Or as the French press are calling it, “bore out”.
The claimant states that working for his employer was “a descent into hell” as he was given so little to do that he suffered from critical depression and became ashamed of being paid for doing nothing. Many people would say, “c’est bien” to being paid for doing minimal work. However, this individual has brought a claim for constructive dismissal and is seeking £282,000 in compensation and damages for suffering the insipidness of mind-numbingly dull tasks over a four-year period.
The main legal argument being pursued by the claimant’s lawyers is that he was intentionally side lined so that he would have no chance of promotion and become so bored that they could fire him without redundancy payments or any other compensation.
In the UK, to succeed with a claim for constructive dismissal, the employee must show that they were entitled to resign by virtue of an employer’s conduct. Essentially, there has got to be a repudiatory breach of contract on the part of the employer which is sufficiently serious to justify the employee resigning. Whether the French courts will sympathise with the claimant’s case, who knows, à suivre!