Littler Global Guide - France - Q1 2023

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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Pension Reform

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Guillaume Desmoulin, Partner – Littler France

On March 20, 2023, a pension reform bill was adopted by the French National Assembly. This reform, strongly criticized by the unions, increases the retirement age from 62 years old to 64 years old for employees born after January 1, 1968. Employees who started working early will be entitled to an early retirement under two conditions: (1) Employees must justify the required insurance period by working either 43 years or 142 quarters; and (2) Employees must have reached one of the four age limits (defined by the decree). Employees who have not reached their age limit therefore must contribute longer, even if they have reached 43 years of insurance.

The bill also provides for the possibility to continue contributing to the pension insurance while working and getting the pension at the same time, as well as sponsored employment agreements with employees 60 years old and more.

Protection of Whistleblowers Who Fail to Comply with the Graduated Alert Procedure

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Guillaume Desmoulin, Partner – Littler France

In a decision rendered on February 15, 2023, the French Court of Cassation ruled that an employee who reports or testifies to facts constituting a misdemeanor or a crime of which the employee may have become aware in the performance of duties is not obliged to comply with the graduated alert provided for in the French Labor Code.

The Court of Cassation approved the Court of Appeal's ruling that the protection of the employee dismissed for having denounced facts likely to constitute sexual assaults was only conditional on the employee’s good faith. The court clarified that bad faith can only result from the knowledge of the falsity of the facts denounced and not from the mere fact that the facts denounced were not established.

An Employee May Request the Disclosure of Pay Slips to Demonstrate Inequality

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Guillaume Desmoulin, Partner – Littler France

On March 8, 2023, the Court of Cassation ruled that an employee may request the disclosure of salary slips of other employees before any trial in order to demonstrate the existence of a salary inequality in relation to certain male colleagues having occupied similar functions. The Court of Cassation ruled that it is the responsibility of the judge to investigate relevant facts, and that the judge may limit the scope of the production of the requested documents.

Ruled as relevant facts were: (1) Whether the communication is necessary to provide proof of the alleged inequality of treatment and the disclosure requested is proportionate to the aim for which the disclosure is requested; (2) Whether there is a legitimate reason to preserve or establish, before any trial, the proof of facts on which the solution of a dispute could depend; and (3) If the information requested is likely to affect the personal lives of other employees.

An Intragroup Mobility Clause is Null and Void

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Guillaume Desmoulin, Partner – Littler France

A sales representative’s employment contract included a mobility clause stating that "the employee undertakes to accept any transfer to another establishment or subsidiary located in France." The employer informed the employee about transferring to another subsidiary, which the employee refused. The employee was dismissed because of this refusal. The employee challenged this dismissal saying that the clause was actually null and void. The tribunal rejected the employee’s claims.

The Court of Cassation overruled the decision and recalls that the employee cannot accept a change of employer in advance. It noted that the mobility clause provides that the employee accepts, in advance, to be transferred to another company of the group and thus to change legal employer. Therefore, the Court found that the mobility clause was null and void. The dismissal was, therefore, without cause.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.