The role of parliamentary collaborator is often thankless. Employed directly by the elected, deputy or senator, he depends only on the latter, both to determine his tasks and for his workload or his emoluments. A situation of dependence conducive to abuse of authority or harassing behavior.
Some senators have thus acquired the reputation of being very bad bosses. This is the case of Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, senator (Les Républicains, LR) of French people living abroad, elected since 2004. As reported by an investigation by Mediapart in the summer of 2020, more than forty employees took over from it, generally only staying a few months before leaving, “worn out” by the working atmosphere. In 2016, an employee was the victim of a malaise which required her immediate hospitalization, which the UNSA union of parliamentary collaborators was indignant about with Gérard Larcher (LR), the president of the Senate.
Bullying, hurtful thoughts and incongruous requests
Paul (the first name has been changed) says he experienced it. Yet experienced in politics and in the function of assistant, which he exercised for many years, this fifty-something, who entered the service of the senator in the spring of 2019, said then very badly to support the “Permanent hot and cold”, bullying, hurtful thoughts and incongruous requests from Mme Garriaud-Maylam, who, according to him, arrive at all hours of the day and night.
In a few months, he accumulates health problems. In August 2019, six months after the start of his contract, his doctor placed him on sick leave. In December, still arrested and in a worrying psychological state, he seized the listening cell for victims of harassment, a structure set up by the Senate and which included in particular an occupational doctor and several officials. On the very day of his referral, he received a letter for an interview prior to dismissal on the grounds of his “Repeated and prolonged absences” – while he is on sick leave.
In January 2020, after Paul’s hearing, the anti-harassment cell issues a report to Gérard Larcher. As the magazine revealed Challenges, the institution ends up deciding on a temporary freeze of the employee credit of Mr.me Garriaud-Maylam. But in a letter, the President of the Senate told him, in November 2020, that this decision “Does not equate to a sanction that it is not for me in any case to take”.
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