Home > Workplace > France > 2010-01-20 - Court of cassation, n. 08-42207

2010-01-20 - Court of cassation, n. 08-42207

Workplace · France · Employement contract · Faith-Based Organisation

The religious commitment in an association of common status is not exclusive of an employment contract

Key facts of the case - The applicant is a woman who joined an association named “la Croix glorieuse”. She took her vows and became a nun in this association. She claimed a salary as the counterpart of her activities inside the association. The court of appeal of Toulouse denied her appeal, deeming that even if she was in a situation of subordination towards the association, there was no employment contract but it was the result of a religious commitment.

Reasoning of the court - The court of cassation overturned the court of appeal’s decision on the ground that a work and salaried relationship does not depend neither on the parties’ will nor on the way the denominate the convention. It results of the factual conditions in which the activity is carried out. The religious commitment of a person excludes the employment contract only for the activities accomplished for a congregation or a legally established religious association (“association cultuelle”). Given that the association “la Croix glorieuse” was neither a congregation nor a religious association (“association cultuelle”) and that the court of appeal did not check whether the criteria of an employment contract were gathered, the decision of the court was delivered in breach of the article 1221-1 of the labour code.