French employee sues boss because his 'job was too boring'
Frédéric Desnard is suing his former employer, the French perfumery Interparfums, for ‘putting him in the cupboard’.
‘Mis au placard’, or ‘put in the cupboard’, is a French phrase which means to give employees little or no work, or only menial tasks. Desnard is claiming that his managerial job at the company, where he worked between 2010 and 2014 and was paid €3,500 (2,758) per month, was so tedious that he became exhausted and ‘literally bored out of his mind’, according to TheGuardian
Desnard told Agence France-Presse
that he had been “shoved in a back room”, and was assigned tasks with no relevance to his job, the official title of which was ‘General Service Director’. He claims that he suffered a “descent into hell, a nightmare”, after the company needed to restructure after the loss of a large contract. CNNMoney reports
that Desnard was referred to as ‘the boy’ by his superiors and directed to run their personal errands, including picking up children from sports lessons. Eventually there was so little to do, Desnard says, that his bosses told him to go home and wait for a call to come back. Apparently, that call never came.
Desnard’s lawyer, Montasser Charni, claims that ‘bore-out’, which is similar to burn-out and can lead to ‘serious emotional and health issues’, is a form of harassment.
“It can be defined as a moral exhaustion due to the total lack of caseload, [and] it comes with a feeling of shame of being paid to do nothing,” Charni said
. He claims that Desnard ‘suffered from a critical depression and had a traffic accident linked to an epileptic seizure… he fell into a coma and was on a sick leave.”
Interparfum deny Desnard’s claims. “We refute all these charges,” said Cyril Levy-Pey
, Interparfum’s communications director. He denies that Desnard was ever called ‘the boy’ or any other humiliating names.
“He wasn’t so motivated after several years and despite our attempts to give him more missions, he wasmissing more than six months… That’s why he was dismissed in 2014,” he added.
Desnard is demanding a total of €360,000 (£282,000), which includes €150,000 in damages and compensation for missed pay, including holiday pay. The case is being considered by an employment tribunal in Paris, with a verdict expected in July.