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Labor & Employment

Published at 27 January 2016
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: January 2016
Any and all French companies are required to search for redeployment opportunities before being entitled to dismiss an employee on economic grounds. This search must be carried out not only within the company itself but also within the group to which it belongs, both in France and abroad. Law n° 2015-990 of August 6, 2015, known as the “Macron” Law, has amended the terms of the obligation to search for redeployment opportunities outside the French territory imposed on companies in connection with an individual or collective dismissal on economic grounds. The Macron Law has amended Article L.1233-4-1 of the French Labor Code. Decree n° 2015-1638 on the procedure for internal redeployment outside the national territory in case of dismissal on economic grounds dated December 10, 2015 provides the necessary clarification for the implementation of the redeployment procedure. While it was portrayed by the Government as a reduction of the burden imposed on companies and as an infringement of the workers’ right to continued employment by those who defend employees, this is, in my view, just another example of demagogy that only makes procedures more complex and increases legal uncertainty through endless changes to the law.
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Published at 23 December 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: December 2015
In our April 2014 e-newsletter, we reported the enactment of Law n°2014-384 of March 29, 2014 aimed at recapturing the real economy, commonly referred to as the “Florange” Law, that notably imposed on companies or groups with at last 1,000 employees the obligation to search for a buyer wherever they intend to close down a site, which results in large-scale dismissal on economic grounds. At that time, we stressed the stubbornness of the legislator who decided – despite all opposition – to push for the enactment of the text whereas the Constitutional Council had invalidated large sections thereof and rejected the enforcement of sanctions in case of non-compliance, which, in practice, made the Law ineffective. We also announced the forthcoming publication of a decree setting forth the conditions in which the Law would be implemented. In April 2014, we had an unworkable text with an unclear scope of application. The announced decree has been finally published and it thus is time to make a new status report on the contemplated scheme that turns out to be particularly burdensome for companies and groups that intend to close down a site in France.
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Published at 30 November 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: November 2015
A decision handed down by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) on September 16, 2015 (n° 14-16.713) provides an answer to a problem that arose in connection with the termination of a trial period for which the company had to comply with both the “délai de prévenance” (i.e. an advance notice period that must take place within the trial period), as provided for by Law n° 2008-596 of June 25, 20089, and the notice period set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement “Bureaux d'Études Techniques, des Cabinets d'Ingénieurs-Conseils et des Sociétés de Conseils” (i.e. the collective bargaining agreement that applies to many engineering and consulting firms and technology companies, hereinafter the “SYNTEC CBA”). We followed this case with great interest as the relevant company is one of our clients; we defended its interests before the Labor Court of Boulogne-Billancourt – which ruled in our client’s favor by dismissing the claims brought by the employee after the termination – and then before the Court of Appeals of Versailles – which reversed the judgment of the Labor Court – to finally appeal to the Labor Chamber of the Cour de Cassation, in the hope to have the termination of the trial period declared well-founded.
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Published at 28 September 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: September 2015
The so-called “economic growth and activity” Bill, commonly known as the “Macron Bill”, was adopted on July 10 by the French Parliament, after a long and turbulent process. Published on August 7, the “Macron Law” came into force on August 8, even though the implementation of many measures is conditioned upon the publication of implementing decrees or deferred to a subsequent date. It seemed like a never-ending journey. We had already outlined in our December 2014 e-newsletter the key measures contemplated by the Macron Bill but the legislative saga was then a long way from coming to an end. Obviously, although the text is dense and despite the amount of time it took to have it adopted, the Macron Law looks more like a catalogue of – albeit useful and necessary – dispersed measures than an extensive structural reform, as had been announced. This article is designed to outline the key labor- and employment- related measures that can affect businesses.
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Published at 28 September 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: September 2015
A judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) dated September 10, 2015 (C-266/14) is creating confusion while things could already be considered as cloudy in France in terms of working time duration. This judgment is likely to create a new source of litigation for companies that employ itinerant employees.
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Published at 26 August 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: July / August 2015
A quick look at the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, in particular, at the travel advice Section of this website, is sufficient to understand that employees on assignment in a foreign country face multiple risks, such as crime, extreme weather conditions, terrorist attacks, epidemics, volcanic activity, conflicts, kidnappings, etc. The reality of these risks is regularly reported in the newspapers. While large companies have implemented a real process to manage these risks and designed an appropriate safety policy, all companies, whatever their size, must implement all means necessary to ensure the safety of their employees on assignment in a foreign country. If they fail to do so, their liability may be sought.
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Published at 26 June 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: June 2015
Law n°2014-288 of March 5, 2014 on occupational training, employment and social democracy has introduced in the French Labor Code new obligations for Works Councils with respect to financial transparency. Applicable obligations vary according to the size of the Works Councils. Implementation Decrees n°2015-357 and n°2015-358 were published on March 27, 2015 and the French Accounting Standards Authority (Autorité des normes comptables) issued the details of the applicable accounting standards on June 2, 2015. This article provides a summary of these new obligations applicable to “small” Works Councils, as defined by law, that represent no less than 86% of the overall Works Councils in France. All the new rules shall be effective for financial years beginning on or after January 1, 2015.
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Published at 28 April 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: April 2015
Law n° 2014-790 of July 10, 2014 on combating unfair labor competition had supplemented the existing scheme aimed at regulating the conditions in which foreign workers are temporarily posted in France and, in particular, imposed on user companies and clients an obligation of vigilance with respect to housing conditions and labor legislation. Decree n°2015-364 of March 30, 2015 on combating frauds in connection with the posting of workers and illegal work will henceforth ensure full implementation of the above-mentioned Law.
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Published at 30 March 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: March 2015
Created in 2008, the rupture conventionnelle – an alternative means of terminating the employment contract which replaces standard dismissals or resignations – is a growing success. It must be said that French case-law has considerably extended the horizons of the possible and – for once in labor law – French courts develop a very liberal case-law that complies with the rules of ordinary contract law. In three decisions issued on March 3, 2015, the Labor Chamber of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) provided further insights on the possible interferences between rupture conventionnelle and dismissal, and acknowledged, among other things, that a rupture conventionnelle can be validly entered into following a dismissal, and even following a resignation. Here’s a development that will upset the points of reference and prime reflexes of labor law specialists!
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Published at 26 February 2015
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Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: February 2015
The anxiety-related damage was first recognized by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) in May 2010 and has already evolved since then. Insofar as an increasing number of claims are filed against companies with respect to safety in the workplace, this article examines the possible extension of this concept to other situations than asbestos. And this appears to be even more relevant since any employee exposed to particular risks “which may have lasting, identifiable and irreversible effects on health” is monitored by means of an exposure sheet, copy of which is remitted to him/her when he/she leaves the company, develops an occupational disease or is placed on sick leave for a certain period of time (Article L.4121-3-1 of the French Labor Code). Will the anxiety-related damage be reserved only for pre-retired asbestos workers or will this compensable damage spread like an epidemic, it being recalled that there were 11.5 million hypnotics/ anxiolytics users in France in 2012?
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