LANGUAGE

ACME Protection Company v. Mme. L.

Plaintiff quit her job and sued her employer for damages after her employer failed to enforce smoke free laws in common areas of the office. Lower courts held the employer liable for violating France's smoke free laws and for failing to protect its employees from hazards in the workplace. The Court of Cassation affirmed the lower courts' rulings and required the employer to pay additional damages to the former employee.  In the decision, the Court of Cassation defined a key principle concerning the protection of employees from exposure to secondhand smoke in workplaces.  Despite the fact the employer may have set up signs prohibiting smoking in workplaces, the court held that only the actual protection of the employee and the absence of exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace must be taken into account.  This decision directly contributed to the evolution of the French regulation concerning smoking in public places and workplaces by clarifying and strengthening the ban.