Frenchman suing ex-employer for $560,000 over 'boring' job

Frenchman suing ex-employer for $560,000 over 'boring' job

A Frenchman is suing his former employer for 360,000 euros (S$560,414) for levels of boredom that he describes as a "descent into hell" and "nightmare."

Frederic Desnard, who worked for French perfumer Interparfums for eight years, accuses the company of deliberately casting him aside after the company lost a major contract. Desnard claims he was intentionally given no work to do and placed "in a cupboard" - the French term for being ignored at work, reported French magazine Le Point.

Desnard, who claims he suffers from health issues such as epilepsy and ulcers, said he was fired after seven months sick leave with no compensation.

Interparfums rejects the claims, saying that Desnard had previously lost a case of defamation against the company. The jury at the time found that Desnard held "personal animosity against the firm."

Under French law, an employer can be prosecuted for "moral" bullying. Desnard's case is ongoing.

French president Francois Hollande has been trying to reform his country's labour laws, which are notoriously in favour of the employee. Among the measures proposed include giving employers more scope to hire and fire workers and extend the working hours of some employees beyond the traditional 35-hour week.

France's inflexible labour regulations have been blamed for the country's high unemployment rate, which stands at an 18-year high of more than 10.2 per cent with almost one in four under-25s unemployed, according to the European statistics service Eurostat.

The proposed reforms are to be debated in parliament starting on Tuesday.

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