You’d better sit down for this. There are times when I fully agree with a decision made by a court of law. There are times when I completely disagree with a courts opinion. And then there are times where I just don't know what to think. Such is the case with a decision just issued by the California Supreme Court. Monday the left coast Supremes determined that employers “cannot deny a worker a place to sit just because they prefer the person stand”. The court says employers must now consider the employee's work station, and not their overall duties, when determining whether to provide a seat.

This is really going to speed things up at the fast food counter. It will probably make my customary TSA pat down far more personal as well. I had to crank down my standing desk, park my fat ass in a chair, and ponder the consequences of this decision.

This opinion was the result of lawsuits brought by CVS cashiers and Chase Bank tellers, “who said they were wrongly denied a place to sit while working”. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said, “For the millions of California worker[s] in the retail industry, this is going to mean that in the next few weeks, their employers will start giving them seats, which will promote health and comfort”.

I don't know what studies he has been reading, but encouraging people to sit all day is the opposite of any healthy endeavor I'm aware of. Perhaps he was talking about his personal financial health and comfort. Stephen Hirschfeld, a San Francisco-based defense labor lawyer says companies will probably “err on the side of providing a seat after Monday's opinion, and those facing similar lawsuits will settle.”

I wonder how many seat-less suits there are out there. Before this decision I wouldn't think they'd have a leg to stand (an eight-hour shift) on.

The notion of a lawsuit over this seems pretty silly to me. Do you know how many years' bank tellers and cashiers have been standing to do their jobs? About as long as we've had cashiers and bank tellers, I would say.  What whiny brainiac (please note I took it high class, and did not use my customary catchphrase “whiny butthole”) was the one who decided he/she had a right to park their fat fanny in a chair all day?

I'm afraid it is just another step towards the continuing wussification of America. We are just inching ever closer to becoming a nation of fat lazy people in our floaty chairs.

Please understand, we are not talking about reasonable accommodation for those with specific disabilities. No, we are talking about otherwise healthy people fighting for a $15 minimum wage, as long as they can roll around the picket line in their chairs.

I am just not sure where the “right to sit” is listed in our Constitution.

CVS and Chase Bank argued before the court that the rules “require a holistic approach that determines the nature of employees' work by considering the entire range of tasks they perform.”

Clearly that is crazy talk. This is America. We no longer consider the nature of the work in determining needs. It is how one feels about themselves that really matters. And apparently sitting down on the job is what makes them feel better. If they get a ribbon for doing so it is even better.

The court did find, however, that some situations “might make seating at work unfeasible”. That means, of course, that paramedics responding to an auto accident will still have to get out of the emergency vehicle when they arrive on scene. Flight attendants will not have to throw peanuts at you from the front of the aircraft. And the school crossing guard will remain erect and less likely to get run over.

But good luck finding a floor walker in a California superstore now. They'll be even harder to find sitting down amidst the merchandise.

Alas, the California Tushy Doctrine means the nanny state continues to strengthen, while ironically weakening us at the same time. We should ponder the long term ramifications of this trend. Be sure to sit down when you do so; I wouldn't want you to strain yourselves otherwise.

 

 

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