It’s All About the Wording

Three Delivery drivers had decided they were done with the annoyance. They filed a lawsuit against the company they worked for claiming that were owed years’ worth of pay and time they’d spent delivering items. According to the company, however, there was no case even to argue which only made matters worse. According to the local law employees who work more than 40hours per week were supposed to be given overtime pay.

This law took place unless their job was in any of these fields or work: Canning, “Processing, Preserving, Freezing, Drying, Marketing, Packing, Storying, packing for shipment or distribution” of perishable foods. Unfortunately, they were drivers delivering Dairy products, so they didn’t qualify for overtime pay. The drivers, however, did not give up but instead argued that there wasn’t a comma after the word shipment meaning that technically there were not in the wrong.

When it comes to law wording is very important as it can take a turn due to just one mistake anywhere and this is the perfect example. Due to the screw up in the writing of the law, they argued that by law they were in fact entitled to the overtime and that is was not their fault that the law had been miss worded. The court however sided with the Company and not the drivers even though the grammar was wrong stating that it was not meant to be that way.

The case didn’t go away however as they came back with around 120 other drivers to try and push again. This case, however, took an unexpected turn where instead of trying to fight about the comma they decided to appeal wanting to ask the question “what does the contested phrase…mean?” This, of course, was a different way of handling situation, and with a class-action lawsuit behind them, they pushed back into court.

They won the battle and overall the main drivers got $5million USD, this case is an excellent example of how the English language can be a bit tricky. Most laws and rules are written in ways that stop things like this happening, the law is a very strict thing, and usually, the wording matters a lot. This case shows just how vital it can be, even when the grammar was misprinted it meant that they could take a different route. Instead of focusing on the comma they focused on the altered meaning of the law instead.