Law Offices of Magnuson Lowell P.S.
Call For A Free Phone Consultation

A Win for Nerdy Linguists Everywhere!

For decades', linguists and professional comma users everywhere have been stuck in a fearsome debate. The serial comma - more commonly known as the Oxford comma - is an obligation to some; yet, it remains irrelevant to others. The main, but not sole, use of an Oxford comma is while listing three or more items in a sentence. It forces a comma between the conjunction (i.e. the words and, or, and but) and the final listed item. For a good (yet confusing) example look no further than the parenthesized clause above. The Oxford comma is the second comma between the word 'or' and 'and'.

This debate has finally played itself out in a Crazy Case in court. Employees had sued the Oakhurst Dairy regarding their qualifications for overtime pay. Maine law confirms that certain employees do not qualify for overtime pay, including those involved in: "The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods."

Lawmakers in Maine did not adhere to the Oxford comma, which led to the court ruling in favor of five delivery drivers in this Crazy Case. Was overtime pay excluded to those involved in packing for both shipment and di stribution; or excluded for packing for shipment and those who distribute the packages? The court found that without the Oxford comma (i.e. "packing for shipment, or distribution") the clause was ambiguous and should be construed in favor of the employees. If you want to make sure your t's are crossed, i's are dotted, and commas are properly used, call Magnuson Lowell today.

3-22-2017 2-02-35 PM.jpg

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Learn How We Can Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Law Offices of Magnuson Lowell P.S.

Law Offices of Magnuson Lowell P.S.
8201 164th Avenue NE, Suite 200
Redmond, WA 98052

Toll Free: 888-312-9484
Phone: 425-242-4021
Fax: 425-885-4119
Redmond Law Office Map

Duvall Office
15715 Main St. NE, Suite 201
Duvall, WA 98019

Duvall Law Office Map

Back To Top