“Do you realize what a mess you’ve made? “This is how an employee of the ByMyCar company in Nancy-Laxou (54) was greeted by her manager after a period of isolation due to Covid.
On January 8, 2021, at 6:59 a.m. precisely, Charlotte (let’s call her that) discovered in her private e-mail box a message dated January 5, 2021 (three days earlier) that read as follows “The health investigation of the Assurance Maladie has established that you have been in close contact with a person carrying the virus and that you present a risk of contamination. In order to fight the epidemic and protect you and your loved ones, we ask you to apply the following instructions: you must remain isolated until January 9, 2021; Make an appointment to have your test. ”
Charlotte rushes to the nearest lab. The result is at 4pm: positive! She must remain isolated until January 18. She informs her employer.
25 contact cases
Charlotte is responsible for the delivery of new and used vehicles for the company “RNO BYMYCAR Nancy” which took over Renault Retail Group SA (RRG) in December 2020, the large Renault store on Avenue de la Résistance in Laxou (54).
She returns to work on January 19. She is cured. That day, she was summoned at 8:30 a.m. by the director of the company, Thierry Munier. In a very tense discussion, he accused her of having put the health of employees at risk, since she had worked between January 5 (the date the e-mail was sent) and January 8 (the day she learned of it). However, she had to declare to the ARS the people she met during these three days and who are all contact cases.
I declared 25 people, 14 of whom were isolated,” explains Charlotte. None of them tested positive. ”
Charlotte was summoned back to the office at noon on January 19 for a pre-dismissal interview. She was also given a precautionary layoff. On January 27, the day of the interview, she was assisted by a trade unionist. On February 3, she received a registered letter informing her that she had been dismissed for serious misconduct.
“A delicate context”
In his letter, the director reproaches Charlotte for having “rubbed shoulders with about 70 people” and for not wearing a mask. He adds: “These facts show that you did not respect the sanitary rules and in particular the application of the barrier measures which were however the subject of a large communication within the company and that you could not ignore… You thus seriously damaged the good functioning of the company which was moreover to be in open doors operation the weekend of January 16 and 17, 2021 and could not count on all these collaborators in a particularly delicate economic context or all the commercial operations are essential (…)”.
Charlotte refutes all these accusations. She has always worn the mask at work, she says, testimonies to support. For the rest, she was unaware that she was in contact between January 5 and 8, especially since she had no symptoms. She has therefore asked her lawyer, Laurent Paté, a specialist in labor law, to take her case to the Conseil des Prud’hommes and to claim compensation. Because she considers that she did not make any mistake.
Contacted, the lawyer explains: “My client was unjustly dismissed. She will produce photographs of her new manager, champagne flute in hand, at the improvised bar of the company, without mask at the time of the facts. In compliance with the sanitary rules, she declared the names of the colleagues she had met in good faith. The COVID 19 should not be used as an alibi because the company BYMYCAR , in December 2019, had committed to take over all employees of Renault Retail Group in accordance with the Labor Code. ”
We tried to reach Thierry Munier to ask him his opinion. We have left him an email on his professional mailbox and our phone number to his secretariat. We will gladly publish his point of view as soon as he sends it to us.