Mister. T had argued that the company’s “fun” culture included “humiliating and intrusive practices,” including fake sexual acts, crude nicknames, and being forced to share one’s bed with another employee while at work.
In its ruling this month, the Court of Cassation ruled that the man was entitled to “freedom of expression” and that refusing to participate in social activities was a “fundamental freedom” under labor and human rights laws and not grounds for his dismissal.
According to court documents, the man was hired by Cubik Partners in February 2011 as a senior consultant and was promoted to director in February 2014. He was fired in March 2015 for “professional incompetence” for allegedly failing to uphold the firm’s social values.
The company also criticized his sometimes “brittle and demotivating tone” towards subordinates and his alleged inability to accept feedback and different viewpoints.
Cubik Partners did not immediately respond to a Washington Post request for comment.
It’s not the first time a company’s drinking culture has come under scrutiny in court cases. A number of recent incidents have highlighted the entrenchment of alcohol in employee professional culture, even after the The #MeToo movement took center stage on workplace misconduct worldwide. Some companies have introduced “alcohol companions” at corporate events in hopes of avoiding such problems.
An auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers in England is suing the company over serious injuries he sustained at a work event that made “excessive” drinking “a competitive virtue” in a lawsuit filed in London’s High Court this year. Michael Brockie went into a coma and part of his skull was removed after attending the company event, The Post reported.
Insurance marketplace in March Lloyd’s of London fined member firm Atrium Underwriters a record £1million (approx. sexual comments about fellow women),” the Guardian reported at the time.
France is one of the most liberal countries in the world when it comes to alcohol consumption. The legal drinking age in public is 18, but there is no regulation for private drinking.
Taylor Telford contributed to this report.