The Supreme Court of California has delivered a victory to workers with tired legs, sore knees and painful feet. Retail workers and others who are forced to stand all day are now allowed to use chairs under some circumstances.
Several lawsuits have been filed by workers against California employers that deny workers the right to sit down. Among the companies targeted are CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart and JPMorgan Chase. For many years, employers had argued workers who sit are ‘lazy’ and appear ‘unprofessional’.
The Supreme Court of California disagreed and argued there were no good reasons for employers to require workers to stand when their duties could be done while sitting. For example, cashier workers at major drug store chains could perform the same duties while planted on a stool or chair.
How the Supreme Court of California’s Ruling May Affect Workers
The Supreme Court of California argued workers were entitled to seats, so long as their jobs could be performed while sitting, and only if seats would not interfere with job performance. In addition, the physical layout of workspaces must be conducive to seating. It would be difficult to imagine construction workers sitting in office chairs while working on skyscrapers.
This ruling is a huge victory for workers who are required to stand for eight or more hours a day, which describes most major retail jobs. California bank tellers and retail workers can finally put away the Advil and Tylenol. Employers who ignore the ruling may find themselves targeted by class-action lawsuits, where they will be required to explain their reasoning for not providing chairs to workers.
The Los Angeles labor law attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. are dedicated to standing up for the legal rights of workers.