09 Jun, 2023

Can an employee on a fixed-term contract who works on Sundays claim overtime pay?

09 Jun, 2023

Mr. [K] was hired by Ricoh France on July 10, 2002 and was dismissed on April 11, 2017.

On May 12, 2017, he brought an action before the industrial tribunal to contest the validity of his dismissal and to obtain payment of various sums in the form of back pay for overtime worked on Sundays and damages.

Mr. K. believes that employees who are bound to their employer by a fixed number of days benefit from the right to a weekly rest period, which must be given on Sunday.

As a result, a fixed-term contract cannot validly provide for or permit Sunday work, so that the hours worked on Sundays are overtime not covered by the fixed-term contract, and must be paid in accordance with ordinary law.

The Court of Appeal rejected this reasoning, ruling that “the fixed daily rate agreement is exclusive of the notion of overtime” and that Sunday work should be remunerated in accordance with ordinary law.

In the context of this dispute, the Cour de cassation recalls that according to Article L. 3121-48 of the French Labor Code, in its wording prior to Law no. 2016-1088 of August 8, 2016, employees who have entered into a fixed-rate day agreement are not subject to the provisions relating to legal weekly working hours.

As a result, an employee who is subject to a fixed number of days agreement, the validity of which he does not contest, cannot claim overtime pay.