An employee disputed his dismissal for incompetence particularly on the grounds that the letters inviting him to the prior interview and notifying him of the dismissal were signed by the employer’s accounting firm.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the employee’s appeal, considering that the employee had indeed been interviewed beforehand by the manager of the company. For the trial court, the notification of the dismissal by a person without jurisdiction made the procedure irregular but did not have the effect of rendering the dismissal without a real and serious basis.  

The French Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal decision, in a statement of the applicable principle in very general terms, thatthe whole purpose of the prior interview and the rules relating to the notification of the dismissal prohibit the employer from instructing a person from outside of the company to conduct the dismissal procedure to its conclusion” (Cass. Soc., 7 Dec. 2011, No. 10-30.222, M.D. c/ Sté Ardusol).