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Missing Oxford comma costs dairy $5 million


A Maine dairy has settled a lawsuit over an overtime dispute that was the subject of a ruling hinging on the lack of an Oxford comma in state code, USA Today reported Thursday.

Court records show Oakhurst Dairy paid a $5 million settlement in a 2014 lawsuit filed by its drivers who were seeking more than $10 million for missing overtime pay resulting from a missing Oxford comma in Maine’s overtime law, the paper reported.

The suit concerned an exemption from Maine’s overtime law that says it does not apply to “canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of” foods.

The disagreement stemmed from the fact there’s no Oxford, or serial, comma in the “packing for shipment or distribution” part. The drivers said the words referred to the activity of packing and shipping, but they don’t do any packing, the newspaper reported.