Lidl “harassed” French employee who killed himself

A French court heard that Lidl had allegedly “repeatedly harrassed” a French staff member

The supermarket chain Lidl has been heavily criticised after a French court heard it had allegedly “repeatedly harrassed” a French staff member who killed himself at work.

Yannick Sansonetti, who was father to a three-year-old, committed suicide in 2015, in a small room at his workplace of Lidl in Rousset, in the Bouches-du-Rhône.

He had worked as a security technician at the supermarket since 2009.

Now, an investigation tribunal into his death heard that Lidl had allegedly committed "repeated acts of moral harassment" against the man between January 2014 and May 2015.

The supermarket was accused of having a "management style" that encouraged staff to "take on too much" work; expected "unreachable targets" to be hit; and “threatened the professional future” of employees.

Similar accusations against the supermarket in question had already been made by a consulting committee appointed by the French Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee (the CHSCT, Comité d’hygiène de sécurité et des conditions de travail).

Lidl’s alleged actions have now been linked to the man’s death.  

“What is noticeable about this file, is that the inquest appears to reveal that the style of management by this employer was harassment, and that this style of management seems to have led to the man’s death,” said Laure Daviau, a Marseille lawyer specialising in workplace law, speaking to local newspaper La Provence.

When contacted by French news source 20 Minutes in response to the allegations, Lidl said it was unable to comment on the legal issue for now, as Sansonetti’s family was still taking the group to the civil courts.

Tonight (Tuesday September 26), the France 2 television programme, Cash Investigation with Elise Lucet, will investigate the issue further.

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