Droit du travail

 

Scale regime from Macron's new regulation is challenged

 

Macron's new regulation related to labour law (specifically Article L1235-3 of the French Code du Travail), which creates a scale regime (with different caps) of indemnification in the event of illegal dismissal is currently being challenged by French lower Courts (Conseil de Prud'hommes). Predictably, the ground for challenging the new regime is international law (e.g. Article 24 of the European Social Charter (Council of Europe treaty) dated 3 May 1996 or Article 10 of the Termination of Employment Convention, 1982 (No. 158) ratified by France on 16 March 1989).

 

Up to date 4 February 2019

 

Jerôme Kerviel trader’s case – Court of Appeal of Paris dated 19 December 2018

 

On 19 December 2018, the Court of Appeal of Paris (RG 16/09186) dealing with the labour law case ruled that the dismissal of Jerôme Kerviel, French trader from SGCIB (Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking), the investment bank of Société Générale is fair (on the basis of a gross negligence only – faute grave). 

 

The ratio decidendi of the Court is based on (i) the characterization of the conduct of Jérôme Kerviel during his contract and (ii) on the force of res judicata (for res judicata pro veritate habetur - autorité de la chose jugée). Jérôme Kerviel was indeed convicted with offences (délits pénaux) by a distinct and turned final decision of the French Cour de cassation (chambre criminelle) dated 19 March 2014 (pourvoi n°12-87416) for the loss of circa €5 billion.

 

Up to date 19 December 2018

 

Increase in share capital (employee share schemes)

 

The French Supreme Court related to private matters (Cour de cassation) ruled as a ratio decidendi on 28 November 2018 that the single vote on the resolution related to an increase in share capital reserved to employees is considered satisfactory to regularize an increase in share capital not subject to a vote on a preceding general meeting. This allows the possibility for a general meeting to ratify an increase in share capital reserved to employees (due to the relativity of the nullity – nullité relative).

 

The legal concept that may be considered as underpinning the ratio decidendi is the French appearance theory: the ratification is being made possible by the subscribers (employees) having legitimately believed that the increase in share capital was regularly made. This is in line with the spirit of company law to allow ratification as much as possible to ensure legal safety. 

 

Up to date 28 November 2018

 

 

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