If there was a prize up for grabs for worst boss in France, the man behind this mass sacking would be a contender.
All 430 employees, who were already disgruntled about not being paid their March wages, received a standardized message from the company CEO of Bodyguard, based in the Paris suburb of Evry in Essone, Ile-de-France.
In the text, the unnamed businessman told his workforce he’d filed for bankruptcy and they no longer had a job.
“He could have at least sent us an official dismissal letter via registered post, but a text? That’s worthless, it's inadmissible,” Yannick Chamon, a Bodyguard employee who’s worked for the company for seven years, told TV channel France 3.
But even though the man’s means of mass dismissal was tactless, according to Article L 1232-6 of France’s Labour law it’s not illegal.
While the law says that “when an employer decides to dismiss an employee, he must make his decision known via a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt” but changing habits in today’s digital era have allowed email and other ways of online communication to qualify as acceptable for France’s Court of Cassation.
A 2013 ruling by the country’s highest judicial body argued that as long as the employee has confirmed that he or she has received the information, the dismissal is valid.
However, the unscrupulous CEO has previously been charged with money laundering and should not have legally been running Bodyguard or any other company, but he secretly managed to remain the majority shareholder.
The company saw profits in 2017, which has led Bodyguard’s furious former employees to call into question their ex-bosses practices.