Being a French baker is an art that requires balance — and we're not just talking about the perfect balance of flour and yeast.
One French baker who didn't strike the right work-life balance is paying the price, literally: Cédric Vaivre is being slapped with a €3,000 (about $3,700 USD) fine for working too hard.
Vaivre may have been serving up incredible loaves in his bakery, but the biggest problem the local labor and employment authorities had was that he kept his shop open too much. The bakery was open seven days a week, and according to The Local, labor laws require one weekly day of rest for businesses.
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Mayor Christian Branle of Lusigny-sur-Barse, where Vaivre lives, has defended the baker, saying that in such a busy, tourist-friendly town, staying open is important.
“In a tourist area, it seems essential that we can have businesses open every day during the summer. There is nothing worse than closed shops when there are tourists,” the mayor told the French press.
A petition to support Vaivre has collected over 400 signatures. He reportedly hopes the fine will eventually be lowered or canceled, since exceptions have been made to the labor law before. Up until 2016, Vaivre’s bakery had a particular status that allowed this exception, but it was not granted in 2017.
Many other French bakeries have been subjected to these fines, and many feel that the laws keep their businesses from being profitable enough to pay its employees better wages.
Frankly, who wouldn’t want fresh, crusty bread every day of the week?