Home > Workplace > France > 2011-08-02 - Court of appeal of Bourges, n. 10/01017

2011-08-02 - Court of appeal of Bourges, n. 10/01017

Workplace · France · Faith-Based Organisation · Private School

Unlawful verbal dismissal of a teacher in a private Catholic school

Key facts of the case - The applicant was a teacher in a private Catholic school. After it was discovered on the personal blog of the teacher that he had left his wife to live with a man, the head of this educational institution asked him not to provide his courses anymore and to come later to his office to sign an amiable cancellation of his employment contract. When he refused, the employer later informed the teacher that he was dismissed for willful misconduct.

Main reasoning of the court - The Court considers that the employer had verbally and unilaterally informed the teacher that his employment contract was put to an end. It results that it amounts to a verbal dismissal, which is necessarily an unfair dismissal. This sort of dismissal cannot be regularized with convocation to a previous interview and a letter of dismissal. The employer was required to provide the employee with various damages.

Comment - See Court of Cassation, 19 May 1978, Madame Roy, n°76-41.211.
Nevertheless, this case (Bourges) is uneasily comparable with the 1978 case, since the Court did not really took a position on the merits but could only draw the consequences of the verbal dismissal.