international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

France: A Human Resources Director can be Dismissed for Dating a Staff Representative

French courts are generally reluctant to recognize dismissals based on conflicts of interest relating to an employee’s private life. The company must demonstrate that the conflict of interest constituted a breach of the employment contract and must, in addition, often prove that the company suffered some type of damage related to the employee’s conduct. The fact that an employee simply did not disclose a conflict of interest is rarely considered sufficient grounds for dismissal.

Nevertheless, this new ruling by the French Supreme Court recognizes that certain types of personal relationships can constitute a breach of the employee’s duty of loyalty and that it is not necessary to demonstrate that the company was negatively impacted by the employee’s lack of disclosure.

Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-House Counsel

Check if you have a conflict of interest policy and if it is compliant with the French law.