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Cedric Vaivre owns the only bakery in the small French village of Lusigny-sur-Barse. Last summer, Vaivre decided to keep his business open every day of the week to serve visitors to the area. That decision may cost him.

The French department of Aube has fined the 41-year-old baker 3,000 euros, or about $3,600. Aube officials say he violated a local employment law. The law says bakeries cannot be open seven days a week. Instead, bakers must take one day of rest.

European media reports say Vaivre is refusing to pay the fine. And many in his community are on his side. About 2,000 people have signed an official message of support for Vaivre.

Lusigny-sur-Barse sits near several beautiful lakes, as well as a protected park area. In fact, Vaivre’s calls his bakery “La Boulangerie du Lac,” or “Bakery of the Lake.”

Travelers from across France visit the area during summer months.

The Guardian newspaper reported that, until 2016, local officials had permitted Vaivre’s shop to stay open every day of the week during the summer. However, officials refused Vaivre’s request to do the same last summer. He stayed open anyway.

Eric Scherrer is an official with the French retail union CLIP-P. He explained that the law for bakers and others in the food industry is meant to protect people from working too much.

Scherrer told France’s The Local news site, “It’s an artisanal trade where people can work a lot, much more than the legal limits.”

But the town’s mayor, Christian Branle, is supporting Vaivre. Branle told L’Est Eclair newspaper, “In a tourist area, it seems essential that a business can open every day during the summer. There’s nothing worse than closed shops when there are tourists.”
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