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Hours of Labor — Employees of the Commonwealth — 6 Office
Work.” R. L., c. 106, § 19, providing that " pine hours shall constitute a day's
work for all laborers, workmen and mechanics who are employed by or in behalf of the commonwealth,” does not include employees whose duties are of such a character as to bring them within the term “ office work,” and the hours of labor for employees so engaged may be determined by the period of service required for the proper performance of the work of the department in which they are employed.
Jan. 27, 1904. Hon. HENRY S. PRITCHETT, Chairman, Charles River Basin Commission.
DEAR SIR: Your inquiry is directed to the question whether or not there exists any statutory regulation which fixes the hours of labor of employees of your commission "engaged in office work.”
St. 1903, c. 229, amending R. L., c. 18, $ 13, provides that:
The offices of all the departments of the state government shall be open to the public for the transaction of business daily, except on Sundays and legal holidays, from nine o'clock in the forenoon until five o'clock in the afternoon, except on Saturdays, when they may be closed at twelve o'clock, noon. The treasurer and receiver general shall not be required to keep his office open for the receipt and payment of money later than two o'clock in the afternoon.
The word " departments as above used has no technical signification and applies as well to any distinct division of the executive branch of the government as to the departments of the Secretary, Treasurer and Receiver-General, and other administrative offices of the Commonwealth. See R. L., c. 18; P. S., c. 21. There is no apparent reason, therefore, why the section above quoted should not be applicable to the Charles River Basin Commission. But the requirement that offices of the several departments of the Commonwealth shall be open for business during the hours specified is intended for the benefit of such members of the public as may be brought into business relations with such departments, and is not in any sense a regulation of the hours of labor of the employees therein. If, in the opinion of those to whose responsibility and discretion the business of such department is intrusted, the labor of the employees within the hours specified in the section above quoted is sufficient to accomplish, with due care and diligence, the business of the department, the hours of labor for employees who perform office work may well be made to coincide with the period during which, under St. 1903, c. 229, the office of the department must be kept open for business.
On the other hand, I am aware of no statutory regulation which would prevent the heads of the several departments of the Commonwealth from requiring a longer period of service from employees engaged in office work, if such additional service should be necessary for the proper performance of the work of the department.
There is in R. L., c. 106, § 19, a provision to the effect that 6 nine hours shall constitute a day's work for all laborers, workmen and mechanics who are employed by or in behalf of the commonwealth, or of any county, city or town therein. ..." While this section obviously applies to all laborers, workmen and mechanics who may be employed by your commission, in my opinion it is not to be construed to extend to or include employees whose duties are of such a character as to be properly within the term 66 office work.” Very truly yours,
HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.
Licenses — Engineers and Firemen – Citizenship and Residence
of Applicant. An applicant for a license under the provisions of R. L., C. 102, § 81, to act
as engineer or fireman, is entitled to be examined, and, if found competent, to receive his license, notwithstanding the fact that he is not a citizen of this Commonwealth and that his residence therein appears to be only temporary.
FEB. 4, 1904. JOSEPH E. SHAW, Esq., Deputy Chief, Massachusetts District Police.
DEAR SIR:- R. L., c. 102, $ 81, provides in part as follows: " Whoever desires to act as engineer or fireman shall apply for a license therefor to the examiner of engineers for the city or town in which he resides or is employed."
Your communication states that under this statute a person has presented himself to one of the inspectors of police in your department for the purpose of being examined as to his qualifications as an engineer. The applicant has lived in the State since last November, and it is stated that the evident purpose of the application is to obtain a license 66 supposedly to be used as a recommendation for employment in some other State.” Under these circumstances you desire to be informed whether, under the exist
ing law, the inspector may examine, and, if qualified, issue to such applicant a license. You further inquire how the word "resident" as used in this statute is to be construed.
In general, a resident of a particular locality is one whose place of abode is there and who has no present intention of removing therefrom. So in Lawson v. Adlard, 46 Minn. 243, the court say: “ To put it concisely, resident' of a place is one who dwells in that place for some continuance of time for business or other purposes, although his domicile may be elsewhere.”
In the statutes of the Commonwealth the word "resident” bas been commonly identified with the word “ inhabitant,” and a somewhat restricted construction has been given to it, inhabitants and residents being construed to mean citizens. See Opinion of the Justices, 7 Mass. 523. This construction, however, is not the only one which may be given to the term, as is intimated in Lee v. City of Boston, 2 Gray, 484, 490, where it is said that the words o inhabitant' and resident,' inhabitancy' and residence,' are commonly, though not invariably, used in the Constitution and laws of this Commonwealth as synonymous.
There are a few passages in them where residents' bas a somewhat broader sig. nificance than “inhabitants,' and designates a class of persons who have no domicile within the State. Thus, where the Constitution confers authority upon the General Court to impose and levy assessments, rates and taxes upon all “the inbabitants of and persons resident and estates lying within the Commonwealth, it is apparent that the phrase "persons resident' includes individuals. who have no permanent home here, and are not strictly inhabitants of the State.”
In the present instance I am of opinion that the word “resides” is used with a more general signification than that of citizenship, and that the statute does not restrict application for licenses thereunder to citizens of the Commonwealth. The obvious purpose of the act is to secure the safety of the public by requiring persons assuming to take charge of steam boilers and engines to demonstrate their fitness for such work, and has no necessary reference to the question of their domicile or citizenship. I cannot believe that the statute intended to distinguish between citizens and persons temporarily resident in the Commonwealth, and to exclude all persons except citizens from the business of operating steam boilers or engines; and, in my judgment, the word “resides used in R. L., c. 102, $ 81, is to be construed in connection with the word “employed,” and is of effect only to designate and establish the particular examiner to whom the applicant shall present himself.
In the particular case before me, therefore, I am of opinion that the applicant is entitled to be examined and to receive a license, provided he successfully passes the required examination. Very truly yours,
HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.
Commonwealth's Land - Conveyance - Board of Harbor and
Land Commissioners. The Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, under the provisions of
R. L., C. 96, § 3, has no general authority to convey land belonging to the Commonwealth.
March 23, 1904. Hon. WOODWARD EMERY, Chairman, Board of Harbor and Land Com
missioners. DEAR SIR :— You inquire whether, under the provisions of R. L., C. 96, § 3, your Board is authorized to sell and convey to the Old Colony Street Railway Company certain land on Mount Hope Bay in the city of Fall River.
R. L., c. 96, § 3, is as follows:
Said board shall, except as otherwise provided, have charge of the lands, rights in lands, flats, shores and rights in tide waters belonging to the commonwealth, and shall, as far as practicable, ascertain the location, extent and description of such lands; investigate the title of the commonwealth thereto; ascertain what parts thereof have been granted by the commonwealth ; the conditions, if any, on which such grants were made, and whether said conditions have been complied with ; what portions have been encroached or trespassed on, and the rights and remedies of the commonwealth relative thereto; prevent further encroachments and trespasses; ascertain what portions of such lands may be leased, sold or improved with benefit to the commonwealth and without injury to navigation or to the rights of riparian owners; and may lease the same for periods not exceeding five years. make contracts for the improvement, filling, sale, use or other disposition of the lands at and near South Boston known as the Commonwealth Flats, may lease any portion thereof with or without improvements thereon, for such periods and upon such terms as it shall deem best, may regulate the taking of material from the harbor and fix the lines thereon for filling said lands, and shall cause a general plan of said lands to be prepared, whereon it shall designate the portions which in its opinion should be devoted to railway and commercial purposes and those which should be devoted to general purposes. All conveyances, contracts and leases made under the provisions of this section shall be subject to the approval of the governor and council.
The Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners was created by St. 1879, c. 263, with all the powers of the previously existing and separate boards of Harbor Commissioners and Land Commissioners. Undoubtedly, at the time when this statute was passed the Board of Land Commissioners had authority to convey land of the Commonwealth subject, in general, to the approval of the Governor and Council. See Gen. St., c. 5, § 15; Res. 1859, cc. 52, 103; Gen. St., c. 15, § 23.
In the revision of 1882, however, embodied in P. S., c. 19, § 3, the authority to sell land belonging to the Commonwealth was omitted from the section defining the powers of the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, and as it now exists in R. L., c. 96, § 3, which is a practical re-enactment of P. S., c. 19, § 3, no such authority is conferred, except in the case of lands at or near South Boston, known as the Commonwealth Flats. In view of the fact that this authority to sell disappears in 1882 and was not re-enacted in the Revised Laws, which now govern the action of the Board, it is interesting to observe that in the case of the lands above referred to, such authority is specifically given, and the use of the word “sale” in that connection, in my opinion, is of weight to show that it was intentionally omitted in the earlier provisions of R. L., c. 96, $ 3.
In spite of the able and exhaustive brief of counsel for the petitioner for the execution of such sale, therefore, I am of opinion that the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners is not authorized to convey to the Old Colony Street Railway Company land situated in or near the city of Fall River, and that if such a sale is desirable, competent authority must be secured to effect it. Very truly yours,
HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.
Insurance - - Burial Association - Foreign Corporation. A so-called burial association " which assesses its members, and, upon the
death of a member, furnishes the services of an undertaker and the supplies incidental to a funeral to the value of $100, is an insurance company within the meaning of R. L., C. 118, $ 65, and is subject to
the provisions of the insurance laws. Such an association, incorporated under the laws of a foreign State, would
not be permitted to enter the Commonwealth under the provisions of R. L., c. 126, § 2, relating to foreign corporations, for the purpose of doing the business for which it was incorporated.
APRIL 1, 1904. Hon. FRANK M. HEATH, Chairman, Committee on Insurance.
Sir:- I have the honor to reply to your inquiries submitted to me in the following form of question :
661. Is a burial association an insurance corporation within the