Reprinted from The Washington Post by Gene Marks on March 15, 2018.
“Boy, those Europeans really do appreciate their holidays!” writes Gene Marks in The Washington Post. “So much so that one small business owner got fined €3,000 ($3,600) for not taking one.
“In France, everyone is required to take a day off per week. Even if you run your own business. That lesson was learned the hard way by Cedric Vaivre, who owns a bakery in the tourist region of Lake Bakey in Lusigny-sur-Barse, which is about 120 miles south-east of Paris.
“To meet the demands of the summer season, Vaivre made fresh croissants and baguettes seven days a week. However, local labor laws state that small businesses can only work six out of seven days maximum. The laws are there to protect workers from exploitation and that’s fair enough. In fact, bakeries, which are known to push their employees to work at all hours of the night, are particularly under scrutiny in France. But what about the owners? Can’t they choose to work seven days in a row if they want to? Apparently not. …