Tak­ing a stand to sit

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - Voices -

I re­cently be­came aware of new leg­is­la­tion in Cal­i­for­nia that I be­lieve should be rec­og­nized on a larger scale across the coun­try.

Are you sit­ting down? If so, that means you and thou­sands of oth­ers have the op­por­tu­nity to now sit on the job.

In 2016, Cal­i­for­nia’s Supreme Court ruled in fa­vor of the peo­ple, declar­ing that em­ploy­ers must al­low suit­able seat­ing op­tions for em­ploy­ees. That is, if the tasks can be per­formed while mostly re­main­ing seated, and if the space al­lows for a chair or stool. Cashiers to bank tell­ers around the state now have the op­tion to take a load off for longer than the sched­uled 15- to 30-minute breaks al­lot­ted by most em­ploy­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics, close to 3 mil­lion peo­ple in the U.S. work in cus­tomer ser­vice fields.

I think any­one that has ever worked re­tail or cus­tomer ser­vice can re­late to the harsh phys­i­cal de­mands these jobs en­tail and can ap­pre­ci­ate why this leg­is­la­tion is so ground­break­ing in the fight for work­ers’ rights.

So, the ques­tion is, why is Cal­i­for­nia the only state to rule on this sub­ject? Stand­ing em­ploy­ees are not al­ways equiv­a­lent to alert, pro­fes­sional, and pro­duc­tive em­ploy­ees. It is time to take a stand to let us sit! ALLYSON BOWEN Fayet­teville

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