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General Guidance in Reading the California Labor Code

The code is made up of statutes which govern the general obligations and rights of persons in California.

By Chris Micheli, June 25, 2022 7:02 am

California’s statutes are contained in 29 separate codes. The seventeenth alphabetically is the Labor Code. All 29 Codes have general provisions applicable to reading and interpreting that Code’s sections. The following are selected general provisions of the Labor Code:

Section 1 – This Act is known as the Labor Code.

Section 2 – The provisions of this Code, in so far as they are substantially the same as existing provisions relating to the same subject matter, are to be construed as restatements and continuations and not as new enactments.

Section 5 – Unless the context otherwise requires, the general provisions set forth govern the construction of this Code.

Section 6 – Division, part, chapter, article, and section headings contained are not to be deemed to govern, limit, modify or in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of any division, part, chapter, article, or section.

Section 7 – Whenever, by the provisions of this Code, an administrative power is granted to a public officer or a duty imposed upon such an officer, the power may be exercised or the duty performed by a deputy of the officer or by a person authorized pursuant to law.

Section 8 – Writing includes any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means. Whenever any notice, report, statement or record is required by this code, it must be made in writing.

Section 9 – Whenever any reference is made to any portion of this code or of any other law of this State, such reference shall apply to all amendments and additions thereto now or hereafter made.

Section 11 – The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future tense includes the present.

Section 12 – The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.

Section 12.1 – The Legislature declares its intent that the terms “man” or “men” where appropriate is deemed “person” or “persons” and any references to the terms “man” or “men” in sections of this Code be changed to “person” or “persons” when the code sections are being amended for any purpose. This section is declaratory and not amendatory of existing law.

Section 12.2 – The term “spouse” includes “registered domestic partner.”

Section 13 – The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.

Section 15 – The term “shall” is mandatory and “may” is permissive.

Section 16 – The term “oath” includes affirmation.

Section 24 – If any provision of this Code, or the application of it to any person or circumstances, is held invalid the remainder of the Code, and the application of its provisions to other persons or circumstances, is not to be affected.

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