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The receipt for the balance of any account not signed by the employee does not prove payment of the amounts mentioned therein

FSC, 27-3-2019 n° 18-12.792 F-D, D. c/ Sté DMTC

The employer transfers a balance of any account to the employee indicating the amounts to be paid upon termination of the employment contract.

In the present case, a termination agreement was signed between an employer and his employee. The employee brought the claim before the Labour Court declaring that no payment concerning the amounts mentioned in the agreement was made.

The Court of Appeal held that the employer justified the payment by providing a receipt for the balance of any account that was not signed by the employee.

The French Supreme Court overturned the decision by considering that the receipt for the balance of any account not signed by the employee does not prove payment of the amount and, consequently, an employer cannot use it to justify the payment of wages.

As a result, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide proof of payment to the employee using another method in accordance with article 1353 of the French Civil Code.

Moreover, according to article L 1234-20 of the Labour Code, it is in the employer’s best interest to issue this document because as soon as it is signed by the employee and has surpassed the declaration/ denunciation period of 6 months following the signature, it becomes final and protects the employer from disputes concerning the amounts stated in the document.