According to Shakespeare, “brevity is the soul of wit.” So perhaps the individuals drafting section 11(A) of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders thought they were being witty when they wrote that “No employer shall employ any person for a work period of more than five (5) hours without a meal period of not less than 30 minutes . . . .” But as the California Supreme Court pointed out in the week-old Brinker decision, “[t]he wage order employs no verb between ‘without’ and ‘a meal period’ (e.g., providing, requiring, offering, allowing, granting) to specify the nature of the employer’s duty.”

So that’s what it comes down to in the end. Three years of uncertainty, hundreds of class action lawsuits, and hundreds of millions in attorneys’ fees and settlements over a missing verb. Those drafters really knew how to [insert verb of your choice] things up.