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French Woman Sues Company That Paid Her To Do Nothing For 20 Years

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French Woman Sues Company That Paid Her To Do Nothing For 20 Years

The firm, however, claimed it had done everything to ensure she worked in the best conditions.

A French woman has sued her former employer for assigning her no work despite paying her full salary for 20 years. Laurence Van Wassenhove has filed a lawsuit against Orange, a large telecommunications company,  accusing it of intentionally barring her from working after she tried to get transferred to a different part of the same firm because of her disability.

In 1993, Ms Wassenhove reportedly joined the telecommunication company as a secretary and human resources representative, which accommodated her partial paralysis and epilepsy. In 2002, she tried to get a transfer within the company and was approved.

Ms Wassenhove has alleged that the firm stopped assigning her tasks at the time due to her inadequate performance in the new position. However, despite this, Ms Wassenhove’s employer did not stop paying her salary.

A report by The Sun claimed that now Ms Wassenhove finds her situation “very hard to bear.”

The report claimed that initially, Orange employed her as a civil servant. But due to her condition, Ms Wassenhove was offered a secretary position to accommodate her health needs.

Ms Wassenhove is a mother of two children, of whom one is autistic. In a conversation with The Sun, she claimed that despite being paid her salary, it did not save her from facing eviction notices and struggling to make ends meet.

The company conducted an occupational medicine report, confirming that the position was not suitable for Ms Wassenhove, added the report.

After this, the firm put Ms Wassenhove on standby. And before eventually offering her retirement due to her disability, the company put her on sick leave.

However, the company continued to pay her full salary while Ms Wassenhove was not assigned any work to do.

Calling herself “an outcast secretary”, Ms Wassenhive claimed that her firm did this to push her to quit her job. In 2015, she filed a complaint to the government and High Authority for the Fight against Discrimination but not much changed.

The report quoted her as saying, “Being paid, at home, not working is not a privilege. It’s very hard to bear.”

The firm, however, claimed it had done everything to ensure she worked in the best conditions possible, according to the report.

They also added that “a return to work in an adapted position” was also planned but never happened as Ms Wassenhove reportedly was regularly on sick leave.



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