The case involves a hair salon employee who was fired because he didn’t turn up for work due to illness.
Apparently, his boss “accidentally” sent him a text that including the slur, leading to the hairdresser to claim he was unfairly terminated from the job.
According to Liberation, the text in question reads:
“I am not going to keep [the employee]… I don’t have a good feeling about this guy. He’s a faggot.”
The term they used is “PD,” which translates to “faggot.”
French Labour Minister Myriam el Khomri says the judgement is “shocking”.
The tribunal said:
If we put it in the context of the field of hairdressing, the council considers that the term ‘faggot’ used by a manager cannot be considered as a homophobic insult, because hair salons regularly employ gay people, notably in female hairdressers, and that poses no problem at all.”
While the tribunal agreed the word is insulting, they think it wasn’t quite discriminatory.
Not surprisingly, social media users are in an uproar, calling the ruling “brainless” and saying it trivializes homophobia.
T’es coiffeur, te faire traiter de “PD” c’est OK parce que, les coiffeurs sont souvent gays hein. Merci le tribunal. pic.twitter.com/orUcZDr522
— Mathieu Brancourt (@MBrancourt) April 7, 2016
Reporter Mathieu Brancourt tweeted “You are a hairdresser, you get called a faggot, and that’s OK because hairdressers are often gay right. Thanks, tribunal.”
Ultimately the employee was awarded €5,000 ($5,700; £4,000).
He’s appealing the tribunal’s decision.