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A constructive dismissal cannot be justified by a failure which is not caused by the employer’s behaviour

In a case dated 14 November 2018, the French Supreme Court judged that a constructive dismissal cannot be justified by a breach which is not caused by the employer’s behaviour.

In this case, an employee hired as a technical controller by a company had participated in a fraud scheme. Thus, his administrative approval to carry out his duties was suspended for a period of two months. During this suspension, the employee took a constructive dismissal.

The Court of Appeal held that the employee’s constructive dismissal should be deemed as an unfair dismissal, considering that the employer did not paid him for two months and let him uncertain about the fate of his employment contract.

However, the French Supreme Court considered that, given the suspension of the administrative approval, the employer was not responsible for the failure to provide work to its employee. Consequently, the employer has not committed any breach likely to justify a constructive dismissal.

Cass. soc. 14 November 2018, No. 17-11.448