Orange executives ordered to stand trial over their alleged roles in a wave of staff suicides.

Alison, June 26, 2018

Seven executives who worked for France’s Telecom (which is now Orange) have been ordered to stand trial over their alleged roles in a wave of staff suicides. The executives, ranging from the former heads of the company, human resources, and a deputy CEO, stand accused of engaging in or assisting psychological harassment over the suicides of 30 employees during a 2 year period, and five employees over a 10 day period, because of workplace stress. This includes a man who stabbed himself in the stomach during a staff meeting and a woman who threw herself out of a window.

Labour inspectors prepared a report in 2010 and said that management used “pathogenic” restructuring methods, such as forcing people into new jobs and giving unattainable performance objectives.

Punishments for “moral harassment” can include 2 years in prison and 30,000 euros (about $46,000 Cdn) in fines. The trial is not expected to commence before the second half of 2019.

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