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Labor & Employment

7 August 2020 | Fabien Pomart

Covid-19: Optimizing the long-term management of the crisis thanks to the collective performance agreement

The French government immediately responded to the health crisis created by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic through situational tools that helped companies quickly handle this exceptional worldwide crisis.
Together, these instruments have enabled many companies to swiftly adapt to the crisis. They also made it possible to maintain employment and, more generally, to protect businesses.
However, while these measures have been put in place and the most tumultuous period of the crisis seems behind us, companies must nevertheless think about finding more sustainable solutions by seeking to best adapt their organization and the use of their workforce. This is where the implementation of a collective performance agreement can be considered.

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6 August 2020 | Charlotte Desfontaines

Employees’ freedom of religion and ban on wearing a beard

Does an employer who dismisses for serious misconduct an employee working as security consultant for a company providing security and defense services to governments, international non-governmental organizations or private companies, accusing him of wearing a beard that is “trimmed in a way that is intentionally meaningful in both religious and political terms”, infringe said employee’s freedom of religion?

The Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) was asked to address this issue and has expanded existing case-law in this area, by issuing on July 8, 2020 a ruling on the fundamental rights and freedoms of employees in the workplace. The Labor Chamber of the Cour de Cassation specifically considered that dismissal for serious misconduct based on such a ground was discriminatory.

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19 June 2020 | Charlotte Desfontaines

Covid-19 – Criminal liability of employers: A real mitigation or a simple reminder of the principle of individualization of penalties?

On May 11, 2020, the state of health emergency was extended through the adoption of Law No. 2020-546 which supplemented existing provisions. One of the purposes of this legislation is to mitigate the employer’s liability in the event of infection or exposure to infection by the Covid-19.

Indeed, many companies had to continue operating since the outbreak of the crisis, thereby exposing employees to the risk of infection. In the event of infection of one of them by the virus, the employer, i.e. both the natural person who is at the head of the company and the company itself as legal entity, may be held liable.

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Covid-19 and Amazon: Employers must involve staff representatives in the assessment of the risks and the preparation of the resulting health related measures

On April 24, 2020, the Versailles Court of Appeals handed down an insightful decision concerning the implementation of employee protection measures by employers in the current health context and lockdown imposed by the Government on March 16.

Ruling on an appeal lodged by the American giant Amazon against the order issued by the Nanterre Judicial Court on April 14, 2020, the Versailles Court of Appeals upheld the order in that it provided for a mandatory obligation to implement a comprehensive national health and safety prevention plan for employees, with prior consultation with staff representatives. This decision is in line with the need to reconcile the necessity to maintain a business activity with the preservation of employees’ health.

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