Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Nation & World

Not sitting down on the job could end up costing Walmart $65 million

About 100,000 current and former Walmart cashiers in California might soon be eligible to receive slices of a $65-million settlement that the retailer has agreed to pay after being accused of failing to provide suitable seating for workers who want it.

The proposed settlement was filed in federal court in San Francisco this week. If a judge approves it, it will end a heavily litigated class action that has lasted nearly a decade.

Filed in 2009 by Walmart employee Nisha Brown, the lawsuit alleges that the retail giant has been in violation of a 2001 California wage order that provides for employees to be given “suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits.”

Walmart denies wrongdoing. The proposed settlement says that the retailer still believes the nature of the work performed by its cashiers does not reasonably permit the use of a seat. It has previously argued that workers need to be able to move around to greet customers, look inside carts and stock shelves. The company has also argued that seating makes cashiers less efficient, that customers prefer cashiers who stand and that providing seating to its cashiers would cause a significant loss of revenue.

Both sides want to settle the case to avoid prolonging a long-running, costly dispute with uncertain outcomes, the plaintiffs’ attorney said in a court filing.

The proposed settlement includes a commitment by Walmart to begin a pilot program that would provide stools for its California cashiers “who express a desire to use them.” It would have to tell its cashiers in California that seating is available and not discriminate or retaliate against workers who sit.

Any California cashier employed by Walmart between June 11, 2008, and the date the settlement is approved would be eligible to claim part of the settlement money. That’s about 100,000 people, court filings say.

The payout per employee would depend on how long the person worked a cashier job at Walmart during the last decade. Plaintiffs’ attorney Charles A. Jones said some longtime workers might be able to receive more than $1,000 each.

“Both sides are pleased to have reached a proposed resolution and look forward to the court granting preliminary approval to the settlement,” Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said in a statement.

In 2016, California’s Supreme Court found in favor of CVS workers who wanted to sit down on the job.

“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,” Justice Carol A. Corrigan wrote for the court.

Home Depot, Target, 99 Cents Only Stores and JP Morgan Chase Bank have faced similar suits.


©2018 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Loading more