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France – Court blames employer for underpaying temporary worker

13 July 2012

A court case involving a temporary worker on a fixed-term contract (CDD) implied that the employer was responsible for providing sufficient evidence to prove they had paid the worker the appropriate wages, after the temporary employee complained he was not paid for overtime work.

A court ruling by the Social Chamber of a Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) ruled on 27 June 2012 that, in the case of an employee claiming not to have received the wage to which he had been entitled according to the employment contract, it is up to the employer to prove otherwise.

The court decided that the employer is responsible to provide original bank statements and account documents to verify they have paid the employer the correct sums. This was the result of a ruling in which a worker, employed for six months to meet higher demand in the company, was paid a gross monthly salary of €2,000.  But he claimed he was not paid for overtime work and requested his CDD contract should have been classified as a permanent contract, demanding back payments.

The judge ruled in favour of the employee and accused the employer for not having provided sufficient evidence that the employee was paid the correct sums. The employer was ordered to pay over €24,000 in compensation. The judge said there was clear evidence the employee had worked overtime but there was no solid evidence the employer did in fact pay him the correct sums. 

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