A court in France has ruled that a man who died from a heart attack after having sex during a business trip had suffered a work-related accident and that his employer was liable.
That sounds like a joke, right?
When it comes to business issues, France is the San Francisco of Europe. Although all companies working within the European Economic Community must abide by the same hundred-thousand arcane and often contradictory rules, France adds to the business owner’s stress by the way it interprets regulations.
An example: One of our employees in Paris – let’s call him Pierre – showed up to work one day with a note from his psychiatrist. The note explained that Pierre had a “psychological aversion to labor” and that until it “went into remission,” he was to receive his full pay without being subjected to the experience that made him sick – i.e., working. We had to pay him for something like 18 months while he sat at home, working (we later discovered) freelance.
That is the story I always told to indicate how far the French have gone towards protecting “workers’ rights.”
From now on, I’ll be telling the new “work-related heart attack” story.