justice vindicates him

Can we practice sports at high doses while being off work ? Yes, essentially answers the Court of Cassation, which has just ruled in favor of an RATP agent who was suing his employer for dismissal without real and serious cause.

180 days of sick leave, 14 badminton competitions

Between 2015 and 2017, this control operator had accumulated more than 180 sick leave days, for injuries or shocks to the arm.

Problem: during these periods, RATP had noticed that her collaborator had participated in no less than fourteen badminton competitions. The discipline being particularly famous for soliciting the arms, these sporting interludes were messy…

So much so that the employer – considering himself the victim of a lack of loyalty – had dismissed his agent.

This dismissal marked the beginning of a long legal tussle, the agent having challenged his dismissal.

RATP will have to pay more than €38,000 to its former agent

The Court of Appeal will give him reason for the first time, estimating the sanction without valid reason. The Régie had therefore been ordered to pay the employee sums in respect of notice and paid leave, legal severance pay and damages for dismissal without real and serious cause.

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The RATP then appealed to the Court of Cassation. The Court rendered, at the beginning of February, an arbitration that confirms the one rendered on appeal. To justify this decision, the judges relied on case law on the subject and recalled that “the exercise of an activity, during a work stoppage caused by illness, does not in itself constitute a breach of the obligation of loyalty which subsists for the duration of this stoppage. In such a case, to found dismissal, the act committed by an employee during the suspension of the employment contract must cause harm to the employer or the company”.

Consequently, the RATP was definitively ordered to pay the applicant: 7,645 euros in compensation for notice, 764 euros in related paid leave, 8,313 euros in statutory dismissal compensation and 22,000 euros in damages for dismissal without real and serious cause.

The concept of “damage to the business”

Contacted by Actu.fr, the social law specialist Jean-René Le Meur is not surprised by this decision. Because it is the notion of “damage to the company” that presides in this type of conflict, and it is complicated to demonstrate.

“The exercise of a sporting activity during a work stoppage caused by an illness does not necessarily cause harm to the employer”insists the lawyer who concedes, however, that in this kind of situation a medical check-up seems appropriate. “The doctor will probably be able to conclude that pain in the wrists, arms and neck are not incompatible with the return to work since badminton seems (even for non-specialists) to solicit these organs somewhat”he predicted.

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