The French government recently faced huge protests against unpopular changes to the country's labor law.
Desnard claims that he was removed from his previous high-profile position in the company, which included managing certain contracts and travel expenses. For the next four years, he was asked to carry out much duller tasks.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Monde, Desnard said his company wanted to bore him "to death" in order to convince him to quit voluntarily and therefore limit severance payments. But amid a sluggish French economy, Desnard simply decided to stay and do nothing. In the following four years, he reportedly earned more than $90,000 per year -- but the money did not fulfill him, he said.
"I was ashamed to be paid to do nothing," Desnard was quoted as saying by AFP. In an interview, he described the time as "hell" and "a nightmare," which caused multiple health issues, including "epilepsy, ulcers, sleep problems and serious depression."
The Frenchman was fired two years ago after a car crash forced him to go on sick leave for more than half a year. After having paid him a salary of about $360,000 over four years, his employer stated that his prolonged absence was interrupting work processes and ended their relationship.
A verdict is expected July 27.