White-collar worker or blue-collar worker? Consult Wikipedia

A blue collar worker mainly performs manual work whereas a white collar worker is deemed to perform essentially intellectual work. The difference between blue collar and white collar work is, however, not as clear-cut as it was 100 years ago.
Nevertheless, the difference between both still has a significant impact. For example, white collar workers are entitled to a much longer notice period than blue collar workers. In its judgment of 17 June 2009[1], the Labour Court of Liège took an original approach by consulting Wikipedia.

Facts of the case:

For 12 years, a worker has been responsible for all of the print lay-outs. She was bound by an employment contract for blue collar workers. When she was dismissed, she received an indemnity in lieu of notice of 56 days. However, she then claims that, in reality, she should be considered as a white collar worker.

Court judgment:

The Labour Court sought the answer in the French version of Wikipedia and, in particular, in the Latin origins of the word “intellectual”. This word derives from the Latin verb “intellegere”, which is a combination of the preposition “inter” (between) and another verb “ligare” (combine/connect). In other words, “intellectual” originally means the ability to connect elements that would otherwise not connect.

On the basis of this definition, it was easy for the Labour Court to determine that the responsibility necessary for laying out prints was to be considered as intellectual work. Without the lay-outs, the articles and pictures would not bond.

After determining that the activity performed by this worker had to be considered as “intellectual work”, the Labour Court ruled that she was indeed employed as white collar worker.