Paris - A Frenchman is suing his former boss over the crushing boredom he suffered in a job he claims turned him into a “professional zombie”.
On Monday, Frederic Desnard, 44, lodged a complaint at a labour relations tribunal, demanding 360 000 euros ($415 000) in compensation and damages for the “bore-out” he suffered as a well-paid executive in the perfume business.
Desnard, who was paid an annual salary of more than 80 000 euros, had been off sick for seven months with a doctor's certificate when his company, Interparfums, sacked him in September 2014.
His lawyer Montasser Charni said that his “bore-out” - the opposite of burnout - caused Desnard to have an epileptic fit while driving, which in turn caused him to have an accident that landed him in a coma for several days.
Desnard joined the company, which specialises in licencing luxury perfumes, as a manager in December 2006.
At first he was a model employee who showed “total devotion” to his job, Charni said.
But his workload began to evaporate in 2009 and things got worse in 2012 when Interparfums lost a major licencing contract and began laying off staff.
With nothing much to do, Desnard “spent his time running errands for the president” of the company, Charni said.
Desnard was “destroyed morally and especially physically” but did not dare complain, being glad to have work in a depressed job market.
He was being “killed professionally through boredom”, Charni said.
But the company's lawyer Jean-Philippe Benissan said that Desnard never complained about his situation either to his superiors or the employee safety and health agency CHSCT.
Benissan said Desnard had previously complained to the labour relations tribunal of being overworked in his Interparfums job.
The ruling in the case is set for July 27.