'Mr T' has won the 'right to be boring' after being sacked from job for shunning 'team building' activities

25 November 2022, 14:23 | Updated: 25 November 2022, 14:46

Stock image of young people toasting beers.
Stock image of young people toasting beers. Picture: Alamy

By Chris Samuel

A man has won the 'right to be boring' after he was sacked for refusing to attend "team building" activities.

The ex-director, known only as Mr T, received thousands in compensation after being dismissed by his French employers for not taking part in the "fun" office environment.

Consulting firm Cubik Partners sacked Mr T in 2015 for on the grounds of "professional inadequacy" because he refused to take part in "team building" activities with co-workers.

Cubik Partners also claimed he failed to listen to employees and became difficult to work with.This month, Paris' Court of Cassation ruled in Mr T's favour this month after he took his former employer to trial, The Telegraph reported.

The man was asked to attend out-of-hours social activities, including "weekend drinks", court documents revealed.

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The senior adviser, who joined in 2011, said he had a right to refuse to take part.

In its ruling, which was made earlier this month but revealed this week, the court pointed out that to “forcibly participate in seminars and end-of-week drinks frequently ending up in excessive alcohol intake, encouraged by associates who made very large quantities of alcohol available” wasn't everyone's cup of tea.

It said it also wasn't everyone’s idea of “fun” to engage in “practices linking promiscuity, bullying and incitement to get involved in various forms of excess and misconduct”.

The court said that the firms’s values of “fun” violated Mr T's “fundamental right to dignity and respect of private life” and by not taking part he was simply exercising his “freedom of expression”.

Their “fun and pro” culture translated, in fact, into “humiliating and intrusive practices regarding privacy such as simulated sexual acts, the obligation to share a bed with a colleague during seminars, the use of nicknames to designate people and hanging up deformed and made-up photos in offices”, the court ruling said.

Cubik Partners were forced to the former employee £2,574, though Mr T has demanded a further £395,630 in damages.

The court will examine the request at a later date.

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