A new French court has set a strange and new precedent when it comes to employer liability on business trips.
According to ABC News, a man identified only as Xavier died of a heart attack while having sex in the home of a stranger he met during a business trip. The construction technician was in the Loiret province south of Paris in 2013 when he died.
Xavier’s death eventually led to a six-year court battle. Then this past May, that court process eventually led to his death being labeled as a “workplace accident.” Throughout those six years, TSO, his former employer, argued that the death “occurred when he had knowingly interrupted his mission for a reason solely dictated by his personal interest, independent of his job.” But, the court disagreed, according to Daily News.
The opposing side, a health insurance fund called CPAM, argued that sex “relates to acts of everyday life like to take a shower or a meal.” The court eventually sided with CPAM that despite the sex and death happening outside the hotel room, Xavier had at no point “placed himself outside the sphere of authority of the employer” TSO. As such, TSO is liable.
Thanks to this ruling, Xaveier’s family is owed monthly payments of up to 80% of Xavier’s monthly salary. In addition, TSO will continue to contribute to Xavier’s pension.
All of this is to say that companies working in France may want to be careful with how they handle employees on business trips. Now, it looks like dying while having sex, even away from the hotels where your employees are stationed, could result in an expense for the business. This precedent is one to remember.