RATP condemned for “abuse of procedure” in labor disputes

The RATP has just suffered a setback in the legal field. In two judgments handed down on October 19, the judges of the Court of Cassation considered that the company had committed “misuse of procedure” on the occasion of disputes, rather atypical, with former employees. The latter had been dismissed on the grounds that they could have represented a threat to their colleagues and users. For one of them, the judges ordered his reinstatement in the workforce of the group. The other could experience an identical fate – his case having to be examined again by the Paris Court of Appeal in the coming months.

One of these two cases concerns Salim, 32, whose first name has been changed in order to maintain his anonymity. In November 2017, the RATP recruited him as a“trainee metro driver”. At the same time, the management contacted the National Service for Administrative Security Investigations (Sneas), attached to the Ministry of the Interior, to check whether this man was “likely to commit an act seriously undermining public security or order”. Promulgated shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the law of March 22, 2016 allows, for sensitive functions, to request such checks on job candidates and on people already in post who wish to be transferred or whose behavior inspires fears. The RATP does this systematically.

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In February 2018, Sneas delivered a ” notice “communicated only to the company and devoid of any motivation, in which he considers that Salim’s attitude is not ” not compatible “ with the profession of metro driver. A few weeks later, the management flanks its collaborator at the door by taking advantage of the assessments made by the Sneas.

“Unfair execution of the employment contract”

A long battle ensued before several courts. Salim refutes the idea that he is a dangerous individual. He also disputes the procedure against him, for several reasons. First, the opinion of Sneas should have been sent to him so that he could initiate, if necessary, appeals against it (before the administration and then the administrative judge). Moreover, if such steps had been taken, the RATP should have awaited their outcome and offered another position to its employee. It is only if the reclassification was impossible (or refused by the person concerned) that the dismissal could be decided.

On May 18, 2021, the Paris Court of Appeal validated Salim’s argument and rendered a judgment in favor of it. It condemns the carrier to 2,000 euros in damages “for unfair performance of the employment contract”, while judging that the dismissal is without “real and serious cause”. But this decision does not fully satisfy the plaintiff: he wants the cancellation of the termination of the employment contract and his reinstatement in the transport company.

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