France - French Employment law – CORONAVIRUS - Can your company impose a COVID-19 test on you ? CHHUM AVOCATS (Paris, Nantes, Lille)


Could your company require you to do a COVID-19 test ?

2. Hypothesis 2: The screening test carried out on certain employees of the company

In normal times, the employer can - when certain conditions are met - have recourse to a somewhat “intrusive” device with regard to the employee.

This device is that of the alcohol test. Its use by the employer with regard to its employees is strictly supervised. Indeed, the Court of Cassation had the opportunity to consider that "does not constitute an infringement of a fundamental freedom" the recourse to the test of blood alcohol level therefore: (2)

- "that having regard to the nature of the work entrusted to this employee, such a state of intoxication is likely to expose people or property to danger"

- "that the methods of this control, provided for in the internal regulations, allow the dispute, little matter that it is carried out, for technical reasons, outside the company"

So that the use of such a device is not considered to infringe on a fundamental freedom of the employee, the test must be necessary in order to guarantee the safety of the employee and the people working with him. It is also necessary that the modalities of the test can be challenged - and therefore previously registered in the internal regulations.

If we risk the rough comparison between the use of a blood alcohol test and a Covid-19 screening test, we realize that the second condition, relating to the methods of carrying out the test, risks d 'be problematic in the context of the Covid-19 test since it is unlikely that companies have ruled on the issue within the internal regulations.

Finally, the CNIL recalled that "only competent health personnel (in particular occupational medicine) can collect, implement and access any medical files or questionnaires from employees / agents containing data relating to their state of health or information relating in particular to their family situation, their living conditions or even their possible movements ”. (3)

This recommendation ends up prohibiting the carrying out of the test in a company, including occasionally and on some of the employees.

To read all the article, please click on the link below.

  1. « Protocole national de déconfinement pour les entreprises [...] » :
  2. Cass., Soc.,  31 mars 2015, n° 13-25.436 :
3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) : les rappels de la CNIL sur la collecte de données personnelles par les employeur, 07 mai 2020 :

  1. L. 1121-1, Code du travail :
  2. L. 1132-1, Code du travail :

Frédéric CHHUM avocat et membre du conseil de l’ordre des avocats de Paris (mandat 2019-2021)
CHHUM AVOCATS (Paris, Nantes, Lille)
.Paris: 4 rue Bayard 75008 Paris tel: 0142560300
.Nantes: 41, Quai de la Fosse 44000 Nantes tel: 0228442644
.Lille: 25, rue Gounod 59000 Lille tel: 0320135083


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