Sitting Down on the Job
As raised in several recent class action suits against retail giants Wal-Mart, Home Depot and others, California requires “suitable seating” for certain employees.
California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order 7-2001, section 14, covering retail businesses, states:
(A) All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of such seats.
(B) When employers are not engaged in the active duties of their employment and the nature of their work requires standing, an adequate number of suitable seats shall be placed in reasonable proximity to the work area and employees shall be permitted to use such seats when it does not interfere with the performance of their duties.
While this retail business wage order does not require that all employees must be able to sit at any time, it does require that employees be allowed to sit down if the nature of their work reasonably permits the use of seats.
Eligible workers do not need to first request seating from their employers in order to bring a claim under Wage Order 7. Thus, California retail employers should be proactive on providing reasonable seating, supported by adequate policy consistent with the above requirements, (A) and (B).