If you are a business owner in California and you employ at least one person, you should be aware of the federal and state laws that mandate how your employees must be treated. There are many different laws that relate to employees that regulate wages and benefits, allow for time off, require certain insurance coverage, prohibit discrimination, among many other issues in the workplace. It can be difficult to know whether you are complying with every necessary law. To make things more complicated, laws relating to employment are constantly changing–either getting passed by the legislature or reinterpreted by the courts. To ensure you are in full compliance and avoid the risk of penalties or legal liability, you should consult with a small business attorney who is familiar with the variety of laws that may apply to your business.

New Requirements for Employee Seating

In early April, the California Supreme Court ruled on a class action lawsuit brought by employees who believed it was unfair that they were required to stand at work. Their work did not require them to stand and yet their employers did not provide seating or even prohibited sitting down. In the case, Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., the court decided that, under certain circumstances, employers must allow workers to sit down and must provide suitable seating for them.

While the entire circumstances of the business and job duties should be considered in determining whether you should provide and allow seating, the following are some factors that indicate this ruling applies to your business:

  • Certain job functions can be performed while seated, even if the employee must stand up to perform other tasks;
  • Sitting down would not disrupt the employee’s work performance;
  • The layout of the workplace permits seating.

In regard to the physical layout of the workplace, employers are not permitted to intentionally design the layout to avoid providing seating.

This law will affect both employers and employees in many different industries including retail stores, banks, and manufacturers. Many store owners want cashiers to stand because they may think it presents a more poised and energetic image. However, because checking out customers can be accomplished from a chair or stool, stores will now have to give cashiers the opportunity to sit down if they wish.

Discuss your Legal Needs with an Experienced Small Business Attorney Today

If you want advice on whether the new seating requirement applies to your business or you want to discuss compliance with the wide variety of employment and business laws in California, you should not hesitate to call Kalia Law, PC. Claire Kalia has extensive knowledge of the legal requirements of small businesses in California and can provide guidance to help ensure your company’s success. Call us or contact us online today.

- Claire Kalia


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