Paris, June 23: Laurence Van Wassenhove, a disabled woman from France, has sued her employer, telecom giant Orange, for paying her a full salary while assigning her no work for 20 years. Van Wassenhove, who suffers from paralysis on one side of her body and epilepsy, alleges that this situation constitutes harassment and discrimination based on her health condition.

Van Wassenhove was originally hired by France Telecom in 1993, before the company was acquired by Orange, reported The Sun. Aware of her physical limitations, France Telecom offered her a role that suited her capabilities. She worked as a secretary and in human resources until 2002, when she requested a transfer to another region in France. However, she found the new workplace unsuitable and requested adjustments, which Orange reportedly refused. UK: Woman Sues Legal Firm After Getting Sacked for Eating Leftover Tuna Sandwich She Found Inside Company’s Meeting Room in London.

Instead of accommodating her needs, Orange continued to pay Van Wassenhove her full salary but did not assign her any work. Van Wassenhove contends that this was a tactic to push her out of the job without firing her outright. Although being paid to do no work might seem ideal to some, Van Wassenhove describes it as "very hard to bear," as reported by The Sun. Apple Faces Lawsuit After UK Businessman's Wife Reads Deleted iMessage Chats With Sex Workers, Leading to Hefty Divorce.

In 2015, after complaining to the government and the High Authority for the Fight against Discrimination, Orange appointed a mediator to resolve the situation. Despite this intervention, Van Wassenhove claims her circumstances did not improve. She emphasizes that being paid to stay at home and not work is not a privilege but a source of distress.

Her lawyer, David Nabet-Martin, asserts that the prolonged isolation led Van Wassenhove to develop depression. On the other hand, Orange argues that it made significant efforts to ensure she worked under optimal conditions, considering her personal and social situation. The company claims it had planned a return-to-work policy in an adapted position for Van Wassenhove, which was never realised due to her frequent sick leave.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 23, 2024 03:45 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website