The story is incredible and not without consequence. A bankrupt company, dismissed employees and an ubiquitous court decision.
They must repay very quickly between 5,000 euros and 20,000 euros each the sum which had been allocated to them by justice for damage suffered fifteen years ago. Explanations.
Bankruptcy, dismissal, appeal…
We have to go back to 2008. Lebrun company in Saint-Lô in Normandy who hired twelve people made bankruptcy. Following which the employees received a severance indemnity, certainly not very substantial for the damage suffered, but they received it.
The allowances amounted to between 5,000 euros and 20,000 euros following employees in terms of seniority, as reported France 3.
The case could have ended there, but the lawyer for the former employees had advised them to appeal to receive more compensation. And the slowness of justice has made its way until recent weeks.
The Court of Appeal invalidates the judgment
The Labor Court judgment rendered in 2010 who had validated the indemnities was invalid over there Rouen Court of Appeal, March 3, 2022.
By justifying its decision by the fact that“dismissal for economic reasons is deprived of effect”.
Which is equivalent to saying that the employees are no longer de facto dismissed. Even if the company no longer exists.
The AGS, the wage guarantee organization therefore asks to recover the indemnities henceforth deemed undue.
And if they are no longer dismissed, it is logical that they must reimburse the allowances received under the pretext of a dismissal.
Logical from a legal point of view, because employees cannot return to a company that has not existed for 15 years.
Bailiffs and formal notices to pay
This is how each of the former employees received a letter asking them to reimburse the sums collected.
Some even received the bailiff’s visit with formal notice to pay within a week.
“The compensation is due”, castigates the lawyer
Their lawyer, Me Elise Brand, immediately reacted by declaring to France 3: “In thirty years of business, I have never seen that !“
Before adding: “The Court of Appeal says that the dismissal is ineffective, but it never asked for money. Nothing was asked against the employees since nothing could be. The case law is very clear: compensation is due. It is not up to the employees to reimburse but to the original employer. I find it all very amazing that the Mandatory is waking up today.”