A man known as Mr. T has made the news for winning a legal fight after getting fired from his employment for not being "fun." Back in 2015, a Paris, France firm let the man go after he declined to participate in post-work drinks and team-building exercises.
Man Wins Legal Battle After Refusing To Bend to Workplace 'Fun' Culture
Fired For Not Being 'Fun'
Per Business Insider, Mr. T. was let go on account of "professional incompetence" - in short, it looks like he didn't want to do the "having fun thing" that came part and parcel of the job. He was also deemed to be hard to work with and not a great listener.
Seven Years On...
Legal battles can take time, but they can be worth the wait. A French court has ruled that companies cannot fire their employees for not adhering to "fun" circumstances. Everyone has likely experienced it - the job description comes with spreadsheet sorting, account documenting, or client calls, but the reality is more after-work drinks and Friday afternoon "fun" hours.
Not Legal Anymore
Per the Court of Cassation docs, the company's "fun" aspects were actually more "excessive alcoholism" and “practices pushed by colleagues involving promiscuity, bullying and incitement to various excesses”. Doesn't sound like a fun work environment.
Mr. T. isn't just walking away as a headline-maker. He's a little richer on account of his legal win. The court ruled that he was exercising his "freedom of expression" and that his termination was actually wrongful. He is set to receive 3,000 Euro for what he went through, and could actually receive more.
Handling Work Pressures
Countless employees face the pressure of the little "extras" at work. This could include lunch meetings or post-work sports - not everyone is in the mood; however, there's a huge pressure to abide by the invite and show up.
What To Do
There are ways around it. Some employees block off their work calendars with events that may or may not be true - family or health commitments are a good one and it's always worth remembering that anything outside of office hours isn't paid. Legally, it isn't required.
Employees are also often afraid to speak out in the event of such invites. Generally, if more than one speaks out, then it's more likely that management will pay attention.
Never Put Up With Work Bullies
Bullying in the workplace is real and should never be tolerated. While HR can often be on the company's side, it's worth reporting what's going on and keeping everything documented.
Or Find A New Job!
Another way out? Brush up that LinkedIn and start interviewing!