Earlier this year the French Supreme Court held for the first time that employers may be liable for acts of moral harassment (effectively bullying) carried out by a third party.

The Court ruled that an employer was responsible for acts of bullying and harassment of its employees carried out by an external service provider engaged by the employer to train its staff. It said that although the employer was not at fault it could not escape responsibility for the acts of a third party who had authority over its employees.

This ruling is in line with other Supreme Court decisions which have held that employers will be liable for moral harassment if they have done nothing to stop it taking place in the workplace. It serves to reinforce the importance of employers taking active steps to prevent acts of harassment taking place both between staff and by third parties.