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Home Depot Sued for Civil Penalties in Suitable Seating Case

June 17, 2011

In a recent Los Angeles, California employment law case, two Home Depot employees brought action against the home improvement store under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), for failing to provide suitable employee seating.

The plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and former and current employees, claimed that Home Depot violated an IWC wage order providing that employers in the retail industry are required to provide their employees with suitable seats when the nature of their work reasonably permits the use of seats.

Under Wage Order 7-2001, Section 14, which contains provisions regulating working hours, minimum wage and other issues including suitable seating--when employees' active duties are not changed, and the nature of their work requires standing, a reasonable number of suitable seats should be placed in proximity to their employment area, and the employees should be allowed to use these seats as long as it does not interfere with their work performance.

The employees claimed that although the cashier and counter areas within the 100 stores in California contain enough space for employee seats, Home Depot did not provided such seats--violating a wage order of the IWC. The plaintiffs sought to recover civil penalties from Home Depot under PAGA as well as reasonable attorney fees and costs.

In December of 2010, a Second District Court of Appeal panel decided that Home Depot should pay civil penalties for failing to provide seating for the cashiers--throwing out Home Depot's argument that the IWC Order only gives recommendations or advice about seating, and that suitable seating is not mandatory. The courts ruled that suitable seating requirements could be enforced by employees under PAGA, and entitle an affected employee to recover $100 for the initial violation per pay period and $200 for each subsequent violation per pay period.

In cities throughout Orange County, California contact our labor and employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC today.

Home Depot v. Super. Ct.,

Home Depot Loses Argument in 'Suitable Seating' Case, The Recorder, December 22, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004

Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders, IWC

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