Worker sues former employer because his job was ‘boring’

by L&D03 May 2016
One way to tell your employees are not learning is to give them a monotonous role and no opportunities for development.

This example has been taken to the extreme in France where Frederic Desnard claims four years of menial tasks at a perfume company left him "depressed, destroyed and ashamed".

In response, the 44-year-old is suing his Paris-based former employers and seeking €360,000 (£282,000) in compensation and damages (including holiday pay) for forcing him to quit.

He is claiming that the bosses at Interparfum stripped him of his managerial role and forced him to undertake dull tasks as a strategy to get rid of him while avoiding severance pay.

Desnard said the process was "an insidious descent into hell, a nightmare" that resulted in him suffering from a range of health problems, including "epilepsy, ulcers, sleep problems and serious depression".

He added that the stress and lack of stimulation at work triggered an epileptic fit when he was driving.

"I left for work each day with a desperate, sinking feeling," Desnard told France's BFM television.
"Then when I arrived I would often break down in tears. But no one noticed because no one really cared whether I was there or not.
"I was left depressed and ashamed of being paid for doing nothing."
However, in December 2015 a court ruled against Desnard for “defaming” the perfume company, and was judged by the court to have a personal animosity towards Interparfums.
Jean-Philippe Bénissan, a lawyer for the company, said there were major inconsistencies in his claims for which he had "no proof", and that Desnard had previously claimed to be suffering from "burn out" and then decided to change tactics.

"He never said anything about being bored during the four-year period. And if he actually had nothing to do over these years, why didn't he mention it?" he said.

The case is the first of its kind in France.

Related stories:

How to tell your learners aren’t learning