Mobility clause: the geographical region cannot be hypothetical

Labour Law
Source: Supreme Court, Social Chamber, May 13th 2015, n°14-12698


Law case decisions regularly consider that the mobility clause inserted in an employee's contract of employment is valid under the condition that it defines precisely the geographical zone of application (Supreme Court, Social Chamber, June 7th 2006, n°04-45846)
In this law case, an employee had signed a contract of employment, which stipulated that he was taking «the engagement to accept any change of posting in another agency, which would be necessary for the interest of the company's functioning and this, to all the regions where the society operates or will operate. »
The employee refused a new assignment, which caused his lay-off and he seized the labour court in order to ask for the nullity of this clause and his lay-off being renamed into unfair dismissal.
Even though the Court of Appeal had denied his request, the Supreme Court set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal for the motive that the mobility clause had to define precisely the geographical zone of application and cannot allow the employer to be able to unilaterally extend its reach.
The clause stipulated in the employee's contract of employment for the Supreme Court, allowed the employer to unilaterally amend its reach as it was envisaged that the employee could be assigned in a new sector where the company would be newly implanted.
The redaction of the mobility clause must therefore be as precise as possible, failing which, the judges will remove it.