World@Work 14 Nov 2016

French Supreme Court reverses position on damages for employer breaches

Since 1991, the French Supreme Court has ruled that when an employer breaches one of its obligations, or delays to execute it, the employer “necessarily causes damage” to the employee. As a result, where an employer had not complied with an existing labour obligation, an employee could obtain compensation without having to establish loss. Initially recognised in a case of non-compliance in the context of a dismissal, this approach has since been extended to other breaches, and is now a general principle of French labour law, despite its uncomfortable relationship with the traditional mechanisms of contract law.

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