GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION – General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Single Topic for Decision 1317S
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1404.03000 – General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Where the language of the parties' overtime policy side letter is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain meaning of that language; p. 8. Even if past practice is taken into account, failure to exercise contractual rights in the past, does not preclude the employer from doing so in the future, Marysville at p. 10; p. 9. The Board looked to section 1638 of the California Civil Code for guidance in the interpretation of the contractual language which states, in part: "INTENTION TO BE ASCERTAINED FROM LANGUAGE. The language of a contract is to govern its interpretation, if the language is clear and explicit, and does not involve an absurdity." Additionally, the Board considered Civil Code section 1641 which states, in part: "EFFECT TO BE GIVEN TO EVERY PART OF CONTRACT. The whole of a contract is to be taken together, so as to give effect to every part, if reasonably practicable, each clause helping to interpret the other."; p. 7.