Sunday Rest Required

Capture d’écran 2013-09-27 à 15.18.06

Sunday leisure for all. Edouard Manet’s “Déjeuner sur l’herbe.”

And now it’s also illegal in France to do any home repair on Sundays!

After this past Monday’s decision about restricting Sephora’s hours, another court yesterday ruled that two of France’s leading home improvement stores, Castorama and Leroy Merlin, both large chains nationwide, are no longer allowed to stay open on Sundays. The rationale of the court was pretty much the same: that the stores were violating labor codes that are meant to guarantee workers’ rights to Sunday rest.

The difference this time though is that it wasn’t the labor unions that sued Castorama and Leroy Merlin–it was another store! And the reason why? Bricorama, another home improvement chain, had been denied the initial right to a “Sunday exception” that the other two stores had obtained and so, if they couldn’t be open on Sundays, well, the other two chain stores shouldn’t be allowed stay open and steal all the business. And the judge agreed.

The court took it as an occasion to remind businesses yet again that all this overnight and weekend working is a flagrant abuse of labor law, and since nobody is legally entitled to earn those extra profits–well, no one gets to.

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