The Business Travel Culture That Is France

A French business traveler died while having sex on a business trip. It was an extramarital affair with someone he had just met.

Although the man’s employer argued that he wasn’t “carrying out professional duties” when he had the cardiac arrest in the woman’s hotel room, under French law “an employer is responsible for any accident occurring during a business trip.”

A Paris court ruled that his death was an industrial accident and that the family was entitled to compensation.

…The company challenged a decision by the state health insurance provider to regard the death as a workplace accident.

The provider defended its position by insisting that sexual activity was normal, “like taking a shower or a meal”.

The court concluded that “[a]n employee on a business trip is entitled to social protection ‘over the whole time of his mission’ and regardless of the circumstances.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This would be the same in the US. Workers’ compensation coverage generally applies around the clock while traveling on business.

  2. @Robert D – as a general matter only for activities within the scope of employment or reasonably anticipated to be part of the work trip, and not for purely personal pursuits undertaken during such a trip.

  3. This….seems reasonable? If the heart attack had happened while he was in the hotel gym or having breakfast at the hotel or watching television in his hotel room, would you have the same opinion?

  4. Some years ago, I was talking to a medical student (MD already) that was doing a rotation in a coroner’s office. He told me that people frequently die during sex. However, the coroner usually attributes the death to other causes to avoid embarrassment.

  5. Umm…what if the two copulating parties are employed at the same company? Would that make it easier to define any issue or death as a work related issue..?

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