HR Strange But True

Employers Beware: ‘Bore-Out’ Lawsuits Could Be Headed Your Way

Let’s face it, not all jobs are glamorous, and as Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs says, “Somebody’s gotta do it!” Sometimes not all jobs are as exciting as Rowe would have you believe, either! Case in point—one employer is facing a recent claim that one employee insists his job was too “boring!”

A former manager of a French perfume company has taken his “boring” claims to the Conseil de Prud’hommes—Frances’s version of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—saying his job was so tedious he became exhausted and literally bored out of his mind. The man claims his “descent into hell” (his words; not ours) was similar to “burnout” and that the employer gave him menial tasks that had nothing to do with his responsibilities.

The former manager had been terminated 18 months before filing this claim, and he’s now asking for €360,000 (US $411,516.00) in compensation and damages, including vacation pay. The former manager is claiming that between 2010 and 2014 he was mis au placard—basically sidelined—by his employer and given little or no work or menial tasks that left him “destroyed” and with “serious depression.”

The man claims, “I was ashamed of being paid for doing nothing.” The mental health issues that arose from the lack of work ultimately led to an epileptic fit while he was driving, causing him to take leave for 7 months before being terminated. The company claims his prolonged absence disrupted the operations of the company and that he “never said anything about being bored.”

A lawyer for the company says, “If he had nothing to do for four years, why did the company keep him on?” Apparently he was good for more than just menial tasks, or is it possible that they simply forgot about him, like Milton in Office Space? Regardless of the outcome, let’s just hope this doesn’t become a trend in employment litigation!

Got your own Strange But True tale from the twisted world of HR? Share it in our comments section below or e-mail us and it could be featured in the next HRSBT!

If you’d like credit for your story, include your Facebook or Twitter handle and we’ll mention you in the article and on social media.

Note: We reserve the right to edit submissions for clarity, anonymity, and so forth.