Make no mistake, Société Générale would like to fire Jérôme Kerviel, the rogue trader who cost the bank $7.2 billion. But under French labor laws, he can’t be dismissed without a formal sit-down to discuss his employer's problems with his performance. That will be tough, because a judge has forbidden Kerviel to have any contact with the bank, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"This is not like America or England," says a French labor lawyer. "We have rules that protect employees, no matter what they do wrong." What's more, none of Kerviel’s bosses at SocGen has gotten the sack, either. The non-dismissal does put Kerviel in a bind: The company has stopped paying him, but until he’s formally fired, he can’t receive unemployment benefits.