Employment Law – France

Lawyers in our The Legal 500 – recognized French employment practice have significant experience in counseling French and international clients, employers and top managers/executives, as well as representing them in litigation relating to various employment and labor-related issues, such as:

Individual Employment Relations

The lawyers in our Paris office provide day-to-day advice to numerous French and foreign companies regarding French employment law, including employment contracts, restrictive covenants (non-competition clauses, exclusivity clauses, confidentiality clauses), terminations and dismissals, pre-litigation negotiations and settlement agreements, group/international mobility, risk prevention at work (discrimination and moral harassment), and health and safety.

Collective Employment Relations

Our lawyers regularly assist clients in collective matters, such as reductions in workforce and collective redundancies, implementation of internal rules, remuneration systems (executives’ compensation, incentive plans, profit sharing, stock-options, and restrictive stock units (RSU)), working hours, and professional training.

We also assist clients in meeting their obligations vis-à-vis trade unions and personnel representatives (implementation of employee representative bodies, negotiation of collective agreements, annual mandatory negotiations, information/consultation obligations) and in dealing with collective litigation involving those bodies.

Corporate Restructuring

Our lawyers in Paris also regularly conduct employment-related due diligence and assist companies with all employment-related aspects of French acquisitions, mergers, restructurings, buyouts, and other commercial transactions (including consultation of French staff representatives on the project, employment aspects of business transfers, reductions in workforce, collective redundancies or voluntary dismissals, determination of the status/social coverage of the managers, drafting and negotiation of non-competition clauses and incentives for key managers, and compliance with various related regulations).

Top Management

In Paris, our lawyers advise clients concerning top-managers/executives and corporate officers (status, social coverage, negotiation, drafting and termination of employment contracts and management agreements, remuneration, incentives and stock-options).

Social Security

The firm advises a wide range of clients on social security issues such as social security and tax treatment/optimization of termination indemnities paid to French employees/managers, stock options plans and RSU, work-related accidents, and diseases.

Our lawyers regularly assist clients during audits conducted by the authorities in charge of collecting Social Security contributions (URSSAF).

Through our Paris office, the firm assists a wide range of French and international clients operating in various economic sectors such as:

  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Chemical Industries
  • Communications
  • Financial Institutions
  • Hospitality and Leisure
  • Life Sciences and Health Care
  • Luxury, Fashion, and Beauty
  • Retail
  • Technology (IT)
  • Transportation

Key Contacts

All Attorneys

Our lawyers in Paris have represented, among others:

A major private equity fund with respect to its acquisition of a portfolio of hotels in France.

A manufacturer of medical devices in connection with the closure of one of its French subsidiaries, including the economic redundancy of its French employees.

A U.S. pharmaceutical group in connection with its acquisition of a French pharmaceutical group, including due diligence of employment issues.

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Cohen & Gresser is pleased to announce that its Paris office has once again been recognized in The Legal 500’s 2021 Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) guide for its work in six practice areas: Commercial Litigation, Compliance, Employment, IT and Internet, Stock Market Litigation, and Tax. These practices were identified as “providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel.” Clients recognized C&G as “extremely agile and user-friendly” and highlighted the firm’s “professionalism” and “pragmatic approach” when handling their most complex matters.

Anna Milleret-Godet was interviewed by Le Figaro about the French government’s desire to increase remote work and the risks employers may face for failing to implement additional teleworking options. In this Q&A-style article, Anna speaks about what employers should consider when it comes to remote work regulations in the absence of strict laws. (Subscription Required).

Cohen & Gresser's Paris office has been recognized in The Legal 500’s 2020 Europe, Middle East, and Africa guide for its work in seven practice areas: Compliance, Commercial Litigation, Employment, Stock Market Litigation, Tax, White Collar Crime, and IT and Internet. Clients note that the team in Paris “shows great availability and responsiveness” and is “very effective in working through problems and understanding issues to reach reasonable resolutions.”

In light of the recent decree from France’s Ministry of Labor addressing benefits for employees of businesses closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Anna Milleret-Godet discusses the uncertainty surrounding “partial unemployment” for executives of businesses that face reduced activity, but remain open.

In an interview with Le Figaro, Anna Milleret-Godet discusses considerations for employers whose employees exercise their right to withdraw from a potentially dangerous work environment in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

In a recent Le Figaro article, Anna Milleret-Godet reflects on the impact of the legislation that established France's 35-hour work week twenty years ago.

Cohen & Gresser's French employment team was awarded Rising Collective Bargaining Negotiations Team at the twentieth annual Trophées du Droit awards in Paris, hosted by Decideurs Magazine. Award winners undergo an evaluation process designed to recognize the firms that have proven themselves as market leaders. Angéline Duffour, Anna Milleret-Godet, and Saruji Sambukumaran accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

Anna Milleret-Godet was featured in Le Figaro, one of France’s leading daily newspapers, in an article covering the recent landmark Paris Criminal Court decision in the France Télécom trial.  In the article, Anna discusses the court’s decision to convict three company executives for the work environment that contributed to multiple employee suicides, noting that this is the first time the court has recognized the existence of institutional moral harassment.  She also highlights the elements that may constitute this type of collective workplace harassment.

Anna Milleret-Godet was featured in the business section of Le Figaro, one of France's leading daily newspapers. She discussed the effects of the recent French employment reform implemented by the Macron decrees.

Cohen & Gresser's Paris office has been recognized in The Legal 500’s 2019 Europe, Middle East, and Africa guide for its work in seven separate practice areas: Compliance, Commercial Litigation, Employment, Stock Market Litigation, Tax, White Collar Crime, and IT, Telecoms and the Internet. Clients note that the team in Paris is “solution driven” and has the “ability to deliver a holistic approach, from providing strategic analysis to delivering concrete action plans and execution,” with “strong technical and interpersonal skills."

Angéline Duffour discussed retirement savings reform, bonuses for a company's "material risk-takers" (as defined by the EU Capital Requirements Directive), and employment issues arising from France's PACTE law on behalf of Paris Europlace at the Assemblée Nationale.

Cohen & Gresser has been recognized in The Legal 500’s 2018 Europe, Middle East, and Africa guide for its work in France in five separate practice areas: Compliance, Employment, Stock Market Litigation, Tax, and IT, Telecoms and the Internet.  Our Paris team is lauded for an "excellent level of service" and for offering "a very good and rare combination of high legal expertise and accurate business understanding."

C&G partner Angéline Duffour participated in a roundtable interview of the French labor minister, Muriel Pénicaud, for the French publication Le Parisien. The minister answered questions regarding the upcoming labor law reforms, known as the “Macron Decrees.”

Read the full article in French.

Le Figaro interviewed Angéline Duffour about Macron's campaign promise to create a unique maternity leave for all women, regardless of their status (employee, independent worker, etc.).

Anna Milleret-Godet spoke to L’Express about a reform proposed by one of the candidates in the French presidential election, concerning the consequences of an unfair dismissal.

C&G's Paris office has been recognized in the 2017 edition of The Legal 500’s Europe guide for its work in four separate areas: Mergers & Acquisitions; Employment; IT, Telecoms and the Internet; and Tax.
Eiffel Investment Group, an alternative asset investor specializing in European credit and equities and a subsidiary of Cohen & Gresser client, the Impala Group, has reached a deal to acquire 100% of the ownership of Alto Invest, an independent asset management firm specializing in European small and mid-cap companies. Franck Le Mentec advised Impala on the tax aspects of the deal, while Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet advised on the labor law aspects of the deal.

Anna Milleret-Godet spoke to L’Express about the legal considerations of Amazon’s program that offers monetary bonuses to employees who resign.

Angéline Duffour spoke to Le Figaro about employers’ yearly obligation to declare which employees are exposed to certain risk factors. She also discussed the potential sanctions facing companies that fail to do so.

C&G announces the promotion of Mark Spatz to partner and Anna Milleret-Godet and Matthew V Povolny to counsel.

"Congratulations to all three of these outstanding attorneys," said Managing Partner Lawrence T Gresser. "These promotions are the result of their commitment to excellence, integrity, and client service, and reflect our confidence in them and the continuing growth of the firm." 
We are pleased to announce that Cohen & Gresser's Paris office has been recognized in The Legal 500's 2016 France guide for its work in three separate practice areas:  Mergers and Acquisitions; Employment; and IT, Telecoms, and the Internet. The Legal 500 also noted Cohen & Gresser's growth in Paris over the course of 2015 in its overview of the French legal market. The Legal 500 analyzes the capabilities of law firms across the world.  Its rankings highlight "practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel."

In this article, Paris partner Angéline Duffour discusses the potential impact and limitations of the new proposed law redefining the legal framework for economic dismissals and allowing for more flexibility in employment relationships.

In this article, Anna Milleret-Godet speaks to French publication Les Echos about a recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights, in line with the French Supreme Court, which allows an employer to monitor an employee’s private use of professional messaging tools.

This article disccusses new incentives for small businesses in France. C&G's Angéline Duffour and Franck Le Mentec weigh in on the tax and employment incentives France is offering to promote the creation of companies.

Note: Article is in French 

For the second consecutive year, Décideurs has recognized Cohen & Gresser's Paris office and Partner Angéline Duffour in the Employment section of its rankings guide. The guide has recognized the firm's Paris office as well as Ms. Duffour individually for Employment in general and more specifically in its Restructurings, Employment Related Reorganizations, and Related Collective Litigation listings. 

Nous profitons de notre première Newsletter de l’année pour vous présenter tous nos vœux pour cette nouvelle année qui s’annonce encore un peu particulière. L’activité partielle, l’APLD (activité partielle de longue durée) et le télétravail, qui sont devenus au gré de la crise sanitaire, incontournables en 2020, resteront des sujets d’actualité en 2021. Nous vous proposons d’analyser les principales nouveautés concernant ces dispositifs, sans oublier notre analyse des décisions qui ont marqué 2020.

Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet discuss the legal status of business leaders and the legal implications surrounding their responsibilities.
Dans cet article, Angéline Duffour revient sur les contrôles renforcés annoncés par le gouvernement en matière d'activité partielle et livre ses recommandations pour les anticiper et limiter les risques. (Angéline Duffour analyses the French government’s plan to audit companies regarding partial activity, as well as how companies can best comply and limit their risk of sanctions.)
Angéline Duffour et Anna Milleret-Godet proposent des suggestions que les entreprises peuvent utiliser pour une reprise efficace en vue de la fin du confinement. (Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet provide tips for how businesses can most effectively emerge from this period of containment brought on by the outbreak of COVID-19.) Lire plus en français Read more in English

Regards croisés entre Muriel Goldberg-Darmon et Angéline Duffour, associées spécialisées respectivement en Compliance et Droit social.

(Muriel Goldberg-Darmon and Angéline Duffour discuss internal investigations and the associated employment law risks.)

Further to the “Professional Future” law, which entered fully into force last summer, new regulations have been adopted this year which reform the system for the secondment of foreign workers in France. Angéline Duffour, Anna Milleret-Godet, and Saruji Sambukumaran discuss how these new regulations, some applicable immediately and some going into effect in July 2020, aim to increase workers’ rights and employer obligations.

Nous vous proposons, dans cette newsletter, de revenir sur les nouvelles règles applicables au détachement de salariés en France, issues de la loi Avenir professionnel du 5 septembre 2018, applicables pour la majeure partie depuis le 1er juillet dernier. Nous ferons également le point sur les principaux changements apportés à la procédure de reconnaissance des accidents du travail et maladies professionnelles (AT-MP) à compter du 1er décembre 2019, sans oublier notre sélection de jurisprudence.

La Cour de cassation, dans deux avis du 17 juillet 2019 (n°15012 et 15013), s’est prononcée favorablement sur la conformité du barème Macron aux textes internationaux, mettant ainsi un terme au débat suscité par plusieurs conseils de prud’hommes refusant d’en faire application.

L’actualité sociale du premier semestre 2019 a été marquée par l’entrée en vigueur de l’index de l’égalité femmes-hommes ainsi que par l’adoption, le 11 avril dernier, de la loi (ou plan d’action) pour la « croissance et la transformation des entreprises » dite « loi Pacte ». Nous vous proposons, dans cette newsletter, d’analyser les principales mesures de ces nouveaux dispositifs, sans oublier notre revue de jurisprudence.

Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet discuttent le dévélopment récent de la pratique du référendumd dans l'entreprise comme mode de validation d'un accord d'entreprise.

(Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet discuss the effects of using a referendum as a means of validating collective bargaining agreements.)

In an article for Entreprise & Carrières, Angéline Duffour discusses the main changes brought by Macron’s decrees on staff representatives, known as Le Comité social et économique (CSE).

(Dans cet article, Angéline Duffour analyse les principaux changements apportés par les ordonnances Macron en matière de représentation du personnel.)

Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet highlight the new responsibilities for employers established by the implementation of France's CSE (Le Comité social et économique).

In this article, Paris office attorneys Angéline Duffour and Elise Farcy discuss the new “collective mutual termination” created by Macron’s decrees and its differences with the voluntary departure plan.

Dans cet article, Angéline Duffour et Elise Farcy, avocats au sein du bureau de Paris de Cohen & Gresser, analysent le nouveau dispositif de rupture conventionnelle collective, créé par les ordonnances Macron et le comparent avec le plan de départ volontaire autonome. 

Announced by Emmanuel Macron during his electoral campaign, the bill authorising the government to pass laws by ordonnance (decree), i.e. without a parliamentary debate, in order to improve social dialogue - adopted by the French Senate on 2 August - is the first part of the programme the government wants to propose to employer organizations and trade unions. According to the official timetable, three decrees are expected to be published between now and 21 September 2017.

Angéline Duffour et Anna Milleret-Godet analysent la jurisprudence relative aux plan de sauvegarde de l'emploi (PSE) depuis l'entrée en viguer de la loi de sécurisation de l'emploi du 14 juin 2013. Cette réforme a introduit un contrôle administratif renforcé du contentu du PSE et du la procédure applicable.

(Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet analyze the case law relating to job protection plans (known as "PSE" in France) in light of the June 14, 2013 job security law, which introduced administrative control of PSE.)

Dans cette article, Angéline Duffour et Anna Milleret-Godet analysent les principales dispositions de la loi n°2016-1088 du 8 août 2016 relative au travail, à la modernisation du dialogue social et à la sécurisation des parcours professionnels, dite « Loi Travail ».

(In this article, Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet analyze the main provisions of the August 8, 2016 law n°2016-1088 relating to work, the modernization of social dialogue, and securing professional careers, known as the “Labor Law.”)

In this article, Paris office attorneys Angéline Duffour and Hélène Berion discuss from an Employment law perspective the key issues and new obligations of the recently adopted Lapin II legislation in France regarding transparency and anti-corruption, with particular regard to the new status of alerts launchers.  

*Article is in French

In this article, Paris partner Angéline Duffour discusses the potential impact and limitations of the new proposed law redefining the legal framework for economic dismissals and allowing for more flexibility in employment relationships.

In this article, Anna Milleret-Godet speaks to French publication Les Echos about a recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights, in line with the French Supreme Court, which allows an employer to monitor an employee’s private use of professional messaging tools.

In this article, Paris office attorneys Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet discuss the key issues and potential impact of internal audits/reviews that can be mandated by US legislation, including data and information sharing issues. 

*Article is in French

A client alert addressing recent changes to French employment law. 

Under French law, a company's manager can be a legal representative (corporate officer) of the French entity and/or an employee of the French entity. The most appropriate status will depend on the company’s needs and the candidate’s expectations, and either designation will impact the determination of the law applicable to the relationship, the obligations and responsibilities of the manager, and his social security status. This article addresses this new legislation and how it can affect companies and managers. 

Angéline Duffour joined the International Forum of Senior Executive Advisors (IFSEA) to share best practices for senior executives accused of wrongdoing and facing an investigation. The panelists explored the employment, criminal, and regulatory overlap of investigations and offered practical guidance handling an investigation.

Partner Angéline Duffour discussed the necessary steps involved in successful business creation, risk anticipation and entrepreneurship at a Salon des Entrepreneurs Conference titled “Créateurs: anticipez, maîtrisez vos risques... Et provoquez votre réussite!” (Entrepreneurs: Anticipate, Control Your Risk… And Generate Your Success!)

View photos from the event:  Photo 1;  Photo 2;  Photo 3;  Photo 4

Partners Muriel Goldberg-Darmon and Angéline Duffour spoke at a roundtable on “Grey areas in privilege” during the Women in Investigations conference in London on June 28, 2018. The panelists were: Jane Shvets, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, Polly Sprenger, Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman, Mona Vaswani, Partner at Allen & Overy, and Muriel Goldberg-Darmon, Partner at Cohen & Gresser. The moderator was Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Muriel discussed the French Bar rules regarding privilege and internal investigations as well as cross border investigations (DOJ investigations and AMF/SEC investigations). Angéline spoke about specific issues in France regarding employment law (disciplinary sanctions and protection of employees).

C&G partner Angéline Duffour led a workshop on French Labor Law Reforms at Paris EUROPLACE's Expanding Your Business in Paris Workshop in London. President of the Paris Region, former Education Minister and Treasury Minister, Valérie Pécresse, introduced the workshop. 

Les cinq ordonnances portant réforme du Code du travail, signées vendredi 22 septembre dernier par le Président de la République, ont été publiées samedi 23 septembre au Journal officiel.

Certaines mesures prévues par ces ordonnances sont d'application immédiate, telles que le barème des indemnités prud'homales ou la réforme du télétravail, tandis que d'autres, comme la fusion des instances représentatives du personnel, écessitent des décrets d'application. Selon le gouvernement, une vingtaine de décrets est attendue d'ici le 31 décembre 2017. Les ordonnances devront toutefois, pour être pérennisées, être ratifiées par l'Assemblée nationale.

Nous vous proposons, lors de cette matinale, de faire le point sur ces ordonnances et, plus particulièrement, de :

  • décrypter et analyser les mesures phares de la réforme,
  • identifier les impacts sur les pratiques existantes,
  • bénéficier de conseils opérationnels pour se mettre en conformité.

Intervenants :

  • Angéline Duffour
  • Anna Milleret-Godet

Date : Mardi 17 octobre 2017

Heure : 8h30 - 10h30