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Civil Rights Employment Laws in France


Notably, civil rights employment laws in France offer a high level of employee protection. Nevertheless, L&E Global (2021) states that the legal environment changes due to government reforms and law advancement. France is an excellent example where workers’ rights are considered. For instance, France protects civil rights through anti-discrimination, working conditions, and hiring practices laws. Consequently, the paper demonstrates the review and summary of the civil rights employment laws in effect in France. In addition, the thoughts and opinions on the employment laws and the level of civil rights protection in France are presented.

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General Overview

The general overview was created based on the fundamental employment aspects summary. According to L&E Global (2021), non-EU citizens require a work permit in France. Essentially, employees have the right to agree with employers on the employment terms and conditions under the law. The usual working time is 35 hours per week; nevertheless, additional hours should be considered overtime at the employee’s request.

In France, the company or organization cannot fire an employee without significant reasons for dismissal, namely personal or economic. L&E Global (2021) emphasizes that the employment legislation in France “is based primarily on the following sources, set out in order of priority: The Constitution, European Legal Instruments, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Labor Code, Case Law, and the Collective Bargaining Agreements” among others (p. 3). Thus, France ensures that every citizen is employed according to the employment law.

In addition, there are various civil rights organizations in France. Custers et al. (2018) suggest that the most crucial organization is La Quadrature, which is considered influential and professional. The annual budget of La Quadrature was “320,000 Euros in 2017” (Custers et al., 2018, p. 6). Nonetheless, compared to the UK and Germany, the civil rights organizations in France are less authoritative and efficient (Custers et al., 2018). Essentially, In France, the government considers personal data protection to a great extent. For instance, Custers et al. (2018) inform that “Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) are not mandatory in many countries,” but France is an exception (p. 6). Therefore, the right to privacy is protected by the Code Civil, and there is a legal duty for data controllers to assess the processing of personal data risks.

Anti-discrimination Laws

French labor law highlights that a non-discrimination basis is vital for civil rights employment protection. According to Vignoli et al. (2019), France ensures equal access to health care through its national social protection system and respects workers’ rights by emphasizing labor laws. Djabi‐Saïdani and Pérugien (2019) argue that the government strives to invest in anti-discrimination practices through “the funding of inquiries and the creation of public bodies,” such as the Group of Studies and Fight against Discrimination (p. 234).

France established equality for its citizens as signified in the national motto, namely ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (Djabi‐Saïdani and Pérugien, 2019). French labor law concentrates on providing a great extent of protection regardless of nationality, name, gender, ethnicity, religion, political views, physical characteristics, and sexual orientation.

In addition, discrimination is considered a criminal offense and, therefore, is punished by law. For instance, “sexual and moral harassment are both punishable by two years of imprisonment and a fine of EUR 30,000” (L&E Global, 2021, p. 17). The current legislation forces companies with more than twenty employees to have 6% workers with disabilities from the total workforce to enhance diversity and equal rights (L&E Global, 2021). In addition, France enables equal pay for similar work based on “articles R. 2261-1 and L. 2271-1; Cass. soc., 29 Oct. 1996, no. 92-43.680, Ponsolle” (L&E Global, 2021, p. 19). Thus, the principle of non-discrimination, including equal rights, treatment, and payment, is prominent in France.

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Working Conditions

Essentially, working conditions monitoring is crucial for protecting civil rights. Vignoli et al. (2019) state that “French people more often report that work is critical, but takes up too much time” (p. 2). According to L&E Global (2021), the French Labor Code informs that employees should not work more than forty-four hours per week; the usual working week includes thirty-five working hours. Additionally, the minimum “gross monthly wage is EUR 1,498.47, about USD 1,753” for thirty-five working hours (L&E Global, 2021, p. 14). Thus, the employees should receive the appropriate salaries to support their living costs.

Moreover, the employer must provide a safe and healthy working environment, adequate training, and protection. Based on L&E Global (2021), employers are required to evaluate potential risks “in a document called a single document occupational risk assessment,” namely DUERP, which includes assessing manufacturing processes, equipment, facilities, and the inequalities influence between opposite genders (p. 15). In addition, safety rules, measures, and practices should be implemented.

Hiring Practices

According to the law, European Union citizens can work in France freely and do not require a work permit except for an identity card. Nevertheless, L&E Global (2021) acknowledges that non-European citizens must have a valid residence permit to work in France. Significantly, the employer should ensure equal treatment and collect candidates’ information only if it refers to the position offered and professional skills. Otherwise, the employers “may not ask questions pertaining to a candidate’s private life, such as sexual orientation, religion, trade union activities, and health issues” (L&E Global, 2021, p. 10). Thus, the French government protects employment civil rights to provide equal working opportunities.


To conclude, labor laws in France are extensive and cover many factors in the employee-employer relationship and working conditions. The protection of employment and civil rights is the fundamental foundation of French labor legislation. It is crucial to add that France adequately protects workers from any discrimination. The civil rights employment laws give the right to protection, decent wages, equal hiring practices, and a safe working environment.


Custers, B., Dechesne, F., Sears, A. M., Tani, T., & van der Hof, S. (2018). A comparison of data protection legislation and policies across the EU. Computer Law & Security Review, 34(2), 234–243. Web.

Djabi‐Saïdani, A., & Pérugien, S. (2019). The shaping of diversity management in France: An institutional change analysis. European Management Review, 17(1), 229-246. Web.

L&E Global. (2021). Employment Law Overview France 2021-2022. Leglobal. Web.

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Vignoli, E., Prudhomme, N., Terriot, K., Cohen-Scali, V., Arnoux-Nicolas, C., Bernaud, J.-L., & Lallemand, N. (2019). Decent work in France: Context, conceptualization, and assessment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 103345. Web.

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