Skip to main content

Sit On It: Judge Denies Cashier's Request For A Chair

Should store clerks be able to sit down while ringing up customers? One cashier thought so, but a California judge has tabled the motion, effectively forcing the employee to sit down and shut up. Er, make that stand up and shut up.

Yes, you read that right: a California judge. This decision was handed down in the land of top-shelf, forward-thinking employee rights! As California's Press-Enterprise reports, cashiers are not entitled to seats:

Late last week a judge ruled that a cashiering job at CVS does not "reasonably permit the use of a seat." For its part, CVS claimed a cashier who sat down couldn't provide the same level of customer service as one on her or his feet.

Cashiers in Europe regularly perform their jobs while sitting.

Ah, those crazy Europeans with all their socialistic sitting-while-working and dysfunctional monetary unions. Who thought that getting a group of distinct European countries to give up their currencies and to agree on ANYTHING would work? Hello!? Everyone in Europe sit down and take a deep breath, okay?

But back to the story. So why not let cashiers sit while working? Do they have a "reasonable right" to a chair? Hmm. I'm going to have to sit on this idea for awhile. From a customer perspective, though, it wouldn't bug me to see a cashier sitting on a stool as long as he or she is still working diligently to ring up customers. I'll admit to sometimes feeling badly for the exhausted-looking older employee who is bent over the register scanning coupons that won't scan amid a line 20-deep of impatient customers. Could someone go back to Housewares and grab this nice lady a stool, please? In some cases, offering a cashier a chair might be a subtle spot of employee goodwill and good, localized PR. Then again, sitting-while-scanning could lead to back injuries and painful muscle pulls, so there could be risks for employers.

Maybe we all need to take a load off, however, because The Atlantic claims that continual talk of the raging obesity epidemic is turning the average white-collar employee into an obsessed exercise freak who can't sit anymore. Of course, the treadmill-as-desk is barely moving because it's hard to type while walking, isn't it? Stand in the place where you work, and wonder why you haven't before. Just don't trip on the treadmill, or walk into a wall while texting. Now face North.


  1. In the south, Publix supermarkets manage to get their name on the best customer service, etc. list year after year. They try to squeeze in a "great place to work" slogan where ever they can. Fact is, they don't give any breaks except for the lunch, which is off the clock. Even Walmart gives breaks to their people.

    Also, as a part-time cashier or front end bagger which are a great number of older people or students, as very few employees are allowed to be full time, are scheduled for up to 5 hours at a stretch. Try standing in one spot for 5 hours. Oh, you can use the restroom.

    Now, especially since these part time people hardly ever qualify for any medical insurance, even though they offer it to "qualified" ones, the company could easily afford to give their customer service people a stool, even if it only allows relief momentarily between customers.

    By the way, a qualified part time employee was eligible to purchase health insurance if they worked 1000 hours a year. Each year would or would not qualify them. Since the employee has nothing to say about the number of hours they are scheduled, this was rarely happening. This year, they raised the bar to 1500 hours a year. This equates to 30 hours a week if you allow 2 weeks for any time off.

    So much for the loving company which is debt free and uses the friendly work force to make their image seem so wonderful. Oh, they do close for Thanksgiving day and Christmas. Gee!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…