Court: Supreme Court of California
I. Does the phrase 'nature of
the work' refer to an individual task or duty that an employee performs
during the course of his or her workday, or should courts construe
'nature of the work' holistically and evaluate the entire range of an
determining whether the nature of the work 'reasonably permits' the use
of a seat, should courts consider any or all of the following: the
employer's business judgment as to whether the employee should stand,
the physical layout of the workplace, or the physical characteristics of
III. If an employer has not provided any seat, does a
plaintiff need to prove what would constitute 'suitable seats' to show
the employer has violated Section 14(A)?
The RLC filed a retail-only amici brief urging the California Supreme Court to recognize that standing is necessary for retail sales associates to perform the full range of important duties of the job, as well for customer service. The RLC asks the Court to use a holistic approach that gives deference to the employer's business judgment in determining whether a job reasonably permits the use of seats.
I. The "nature of the work" refers to an employee's tasks performed at a given location for which a right to a suitable seat is claimed.
II. Whether the nature of the work reasonable permits sitting is a question to the determined objectively based on the totality of the circumstances. An employer's business judgment and the physical layout of the workplace are relevant but not dispositive.
III. If an employer argues there is no suitable seat available, the burden is on the employer to prove unavailability.
Procedural History and Case Documents: