To us, there doesn't seem to be many better reasons to fire someone than if they lose your firm $19 million in one day.
But the Paris court of appeals apparently disagrees. They awarded a former trader at BNP Paribas about 1.3 million Euros ($1.4 million USD) in an unfair dismissal lawsuit over an incident where the trader did just that, according to Bloomberg.
The court ruled that Lionel Crassier, who was formerly the bank's head of equities was "unduly punished twice" by BNP. Judges ruled that he was unfairly fired after the bank had already sanctioned him for the incident by recalling him from New York.
In the most recent case, the trader reportedly had built up a position of 65,000 mini futures that exceeded his 100 million Euro overnight limit and generated the loss at market close.
Crassier didn't react on the day the BNP contacted him, "surprised by the volume" he was trading. Crassier only explained the incident after his boss reached out to him.
BNP said to Crassier in a letter: “You acknowledged having focused on volume, rather than the total value of your positions and without monitoring your P&L in real time, which is proof of your poor analysis and a flagrant lack of vigilance. Your behavior is unacceptable.”
The Paris court of appeals had already overturned a 2017 ruling from lower judges that had dismissed Crassier's claims and ordered him to pay 500,000 Euros to cover BNP's legal fees.
The appellate judges awarded him severance pay, unpaid bonuses and damages of 1.3 million Euros after Crassier returned to court and sought 3.5 million Euros for "career harm", claiming his firing from BNP made it a “impossibility for him to work in a field he was passionate about”.
BNP lost a similar case last year in Paris after it demoted its former global head of foreign exchange arbitrage over a 2.7 million Euro that he incurred during his first month on the job.