employment law lawyers – business law
The Conseil de Prud’hommes settles individual disputes between employers and employees in the private sector. In other words, the employer must carry on an industrial, commercial, literal, civil or agricultural activity, or be a private individual. Public-sector employees (excluding management) are considered to be private-sector employees when they are employed under private-law conditions.
The Conseil de Prud’hommes has no jurisdiction when the dispute concerns collective labor relations, which come under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal de Grande Instance, or when the employment contract is governed by public law.
Each Prud’hommes Council is divided into five autonomous sections: management, industry, trade and commercial services, agriculture and miscellaneous activities. It is the company’s main activity that determines how employees are assigned to the various sections, with the exception of the management section.
In each section, there is at least one conciliation board, one judgment board and one summary proceedings board.
Its purpose is to conciliate and adjudicate disputes arising from employment contracts and specific contracts (apprenticeship, professionalization, etc.). These may include dismissal or any other type of termination of the employment contract resulting from a dispute between the employee and the employer, disciplinary sanctions, payment of wages, accessories and supplements, working hours, rest days or vacations, health and safety conditions at the workstation, provision of the “attestation pôle emploi” or work certificate, a situation of harassment, a situation of discrimination, etc.
The employee cannot be penalized for having taken the initiative to bring the matter before the industrial tribunal. Failure to do so would constitute an infringement of a fundamental freedom of the employee (Article 6, § 1 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms).
Consequently, if the employee goes to the Conseil de Prud’hommes to contest a disciplinary sanction and his employer decides to dismiss him for this reason, the dismissal would be null and void (Cass. Soc. February 8, 2017, n°15-28.085). In practice, this means that the employee is entitled to be reinstated in the company if he or she so wishes.
Do you have a dispute with an employee?
The case must be referred to the Conseil de Prud’hommes by means of a petition (traditional procedure) or by voluntary presentation of the parties before the conciliation and orientation office. Since Decree n°2016-660 of May 20, 20016 taken in application of the Macron Law of August 6, 2015, the petition must include the information required by article 58 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Maître Ingrid Desrumaux, lawyer in Bordeaux, specializing in employment and business law, offers you her services.