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France

Too much websurfing can cost you your job

Reuters/Thomas Hodel

Spending too much time on the internet at work can be grounds for being fired on the spot, France’s appeals court ruled on Friday. The Cour de cassation okayed the sacking of a man who made 10,000 connections to sites that had nothing to do with his work in less than three weeks.

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The court’s ruling is now jurisprudence in France, opening the door to companies firing employees who spend too much of their day on the web for non-work-related reasons.

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But exactly how much web activity is too much still remains unclear.

The court judged “particularly abusive” the man’s 10,000 connections to websites relating to tourism, price comparisons, clothes, entertainment, a women’s magazine and social networks and endorsed his employer’s decision to fire him without notice and with no layoff pay.

It was not impressed by his argument that he was bored because his manager had failed to give him any clear indications as to what he should be doing.

But new cases relating to fewer than 10,000 connections could still be taken to appeal in the future.

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