By Law French Employers Could Not Stop Workers From Drinking Wine at Work—Until Now.

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 4 2014 11:28 AM

By Law French Employers Could Not Stop Workers From Drinking Wine at Work—Until Now.

Par7326583
Working lunch.

Photo by FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

In France, having a glass of wine isn’t a luxury. It’s more like a human right. The country’s love affair with fermented grapes is so engrained that the right to have a glass of wine at work has even been protected by law. Until now, that is.

Until this week, enshrined in the country’s labor laws was the stipulation that “employers could not ban beer, cider and wine from workplace canteens and social drinks in offices,” according to France 24. The provision did have its limits: Spirits were allowed to be banned by employers, presumably because having a scotch on the rocks at lunch isn’t a winning combo for any employee. And, fear not, “drivers, medical staff and machine operators (among others) [could] be banned from drinking at all if they are on duty,” says France 24.

Advertisement

As of now, however, for many workers, the tipsy French lunch hour could soon be no more. The country’s sober department of labor ruled that workers’ rights do not include the right to have a glass of wine with lunch and, France 24 reports, “employers may henceforth forbid their staff from drinking wine and cider in the workplace.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 8:15 AM Ted Cruz Will Not Join a Protest of "The Death of Klinghoffer" After All
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 9:03 AM My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. And Then I Found Myself With Someone Like Dad.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 8:27 AM Only Science Fiction Can Save Us! What sci-fi gets wrong about income inequality.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 7:30 AM Ring Around the Rainbow
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.