California Supreme Court Rules that Employees Are Entitled to Seats

On April 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that will benefit many workers in California. The case is called Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy Inc. In Kilby, for the first time, the court interpreted Section 14(a) of the California wage orders, which states: “All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.” Although the seating requirement has existed in California since the early 1900’s, many employers in California, including banks, retail stores, and hotels, simply ignore the law and refuse to give their employees seats.

This will change as a result of the Kilby decision. The court held that employees must be given seats if the tasks they are performing in a particular location reasonably allow the use of a seat. For example, if a bank teller can perform tasks like cashing checks, accepting deposits, and processing withdrawals from a seated position at the teller workstation, the teller is entitled to a seat. The same analysis applies to cashiers, hotel clerks, and customer service representatives.

Our firm was one of the firms representing the plaintiff in the Kilby case, and we are currently handling several other seat cases against banks and retailers. If you have any questions about your entitlement to a seat at your job, please contact us for a free consultation.