Termination for gross misconduct of the fixed-term employment contract of the professional basketball coach

The professional basketball Collective Bargaining Agreement provides that a coach cannot work for several basketball clubs simultaneously.

Moreover, in case of early termination of a fixed-term employment contract by the employee, the employer is entitled to damages.

The basketball coach of the Limoges CSP club, employed under a fixed-term employment contract, concluded another employment contract in order to train the national team of China. As the Limoges CSP club considered that the simultaneous execution of the two contracts was impossible, it terminated the employment contract for gross misconduct and claimed for the payment of damages by the coach.

The French Supreme Court confirmed the serious misconduct reproached by the club. However, the French Supreme Court refused to compensate the club, as the employment contract was terminated by the club and not by the coach.

Consequently, in order to attempt to obtain damages, the club should have terminated the coach’s employment contract for willful misconduct.

French Supreme Court, 26 April 2017, # 15-21.196