Millions of people work in jobs that have traditionally been performed while standing, and this is especially true in retail jobs. But many employees have medical problems that make it difficult for them to stand for eight hours or more a day. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide employees with an accommodation, or a modification in the workplace that better enables them to perform the duties of their position.
Despite the law, many employers still do not allow disabled employees to sit while on the job. The reasons for this vary, and include the cost of providing a chair or stool; the fear that all workers, not just the disabled ones, will demand a seat; and the belief that customers view seated workers as less attentive or lazy.
Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court ruled in a class action lawsuit brought by employees at CVS that employers must allow employees to sit when possible. "There is no principled reason for denying an employee a seat when he spends a substantial part of his workday at a single location performing tasks that could reasonably be done while seated, merely because his job duties include other tasks that must be done standing." This ruling will eventually help employees who work at all retail establishments and other business where employees are required to stand, even though they could just as easily perform their duties while seated.
At Mezibov Butler we regularly help clients who are denied accommodations in the workplace. If you suffer from a medical condition that makes standing for long periods of time difficult and your employer will not provide you with an accommodation, please contact us today to discuss your situation at no charge.