common labor

As the term is used in statutes prohibiting common labor on Sunday, it cannot in the nature of things be given an exact definition. Courts can only determine whether each case, as it arises, falls within the legislative intention. The term is not restricted to mere manual labor. The execution of ordinary contracts and the transactions to which they relate are within the meaning of the term. Such transactions belong to the ordinary business affairs of life and are as well within the meaning of the term as the work of the farmer in his field, of the mechanic in his shop, or the common laborer upon a public improvement, but the making of a subscription toward a charitable enterprise, such as a church debt, is not common labor. Bryan v Watson, 127 Ind 42, 26 NE 666. Neither holding courts nor transacting public business is common labor. State v Thomas, 61 Ohio St 444, 56 NE 276.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

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