French Court Acquits NetJets Europe in Employment Suit

 - March 15, 2012, 4:10 PM

After almost a decade of controversy, four years since the first complaint was filed and several postponements of the actual trial, the Bobigny Criminal Court (a French court near Paris Le Bourget Airport) decided on Tuesday to acquit NetJets Management Ltd and NetJets Transportes Aéreos (two companies trading as NetJets Europe) in a case where they were accused of employment practices contrary to French law. All civil plaintiffs’ claims were rejected. These plaintiffs included French operator lobby Scara, operator THS, pilot union SNPL, flight attendant union SNPNC, pilot pension fund CRPN and social contribution agency Urssaf.

The lawsuit, filed on the basis of “dissimulated labor,” alleged that NetJets’ France-based crews were employed under foreign contracts, allowing the company to make smaller, if any, social contributions outside France.

The prosecutor might yet appeal the court’s decision. Simultaneously, the Bobigny court found CityJet, an Air France subsidiary, guilty of “dissimulated labor” and levied hefty fines on the operator for employing crews under foreign contracts.