French employer found accountable for worker's death from heart attack following sex on business trip

A French employer has been found liable for the death of one of its employees from a cardiac arrest after intercourse with a “stranger” he met whilst on a business trip, which the Paris Court of Appeal ruled as a “workplace accident”.

Xavier X, whose surname has not been released, the employee who died from cardiac arrest, worked as an engineer for TSO, a railway construction company based near Paris. TSO will have to pay compensation to his dependents following this ruling.

This is because under French law an employer is responsible for anything that may happen to one of its employees whilst on a business trip.

He was found dead in a hotel room after having intercourse with a local woman in February 2013. The court has ruled this as a workplace accident or accident du travail.

TSO in court attempted to argue that Xavier was not carrying out any employee responsibilities when he passed away.  Also, his death had no link to his work but was attributable to the “sexual act he had with a complete stranger.”

However, as a lower court in 2016 ruled and the appeal court agreed with that “a sexual encounter is an act of normal life like taking a shower or eating a meal.”

Due to this, the fatality has been named as a workplace accident and that the Paris Court of Appeal said that “an employee performing a business trip is entitled to the protections provided by Article L 411-1 of the Social Security Code throughout the duration of the trip he performs for his employer.”

As a result of the court’s decision, TSO must pay any partner or children of Xavier may have a monthly benefit of up to 80 per cent of his salary until he would have reached retirement age.

The court said an employee’s protection should be adhered to “over the whole time of his mission”.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.