Sitting down on the job: the lawsuit
Two recent court cases in California, one involving Home Depot and the other 99 Cents Only Stores, have given employees the right to sue their employers for “suitable seating,” according to summaries of the cases published in Mondaq.
The judicial rulings, issued by the Second District Court of Appeal, allow employees to seek monetary remedies for violations of the Industrial Wage Commission (IWC) orders. These labor codes generally govern minimum wage and overtime requirements but can address other working conditions.
IWC Wage Order 7-2001 states that all working employees "shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.”
In the 99 Cents Only case, a cashier brought a class action suit alleging that the stores failed to provide its cashiers with suitable seating in violation of the labor code. She ultimately won at the Court of Appeal. Her employer asked the California Supreme Court to review the decision, but the petition was denied on Feb. 16, 2011.
In Home Depot vs. Harris, employees of Home Depot filed a lawsuit alleging Home Depot failed to provide seats for employees as required by the Labor Code. Based on the 99 Cent Store case, the Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the employees and their right to monetary remedies. Home Depot is seeking a Supreme Court review, but the high court has already turned down a similar case.
Both the 99 Cents Only and Home Depot decisions will now allow employees to pursue civil penalties when employers do not meet the “suitable seating” standard. Non-compliance can now trigger $100 for the initial violation and $200 for each pay period where the violation continues for each and every employee who is not provided with suitable seating. Employers can also be sued for attorney’s fees.
CPSC issues voluntary recall of outdoor fireplaces
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada announced a voluntary recall of "Garden Treasures Living" steel outdoor fireplaces made by Sunjoy Industries Group.
The decorative bronze finish on the fireplace chimney can ignite during use, according to an announcement from the CPSC. The recall applies to about 20,000 products in the United States and 400 in Canada. Steubenville, Ohio-based Sunjoy has received 14 reports of the chimney’s decorative powder coat finish catching fire, resulting in one report of melted siding. No injuries have been reported.
No other "Garden Treasures Living" brand outdoor fireplaces are included in this recall.
The $300, made-in-China products were sold at Lowe’s from March 2010 through November 2010.
Marvin’s expands in Alabama
Leeds, Ala.-based Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers will open a new store in Monroeville, Ala., this spring. The store will be the company’s 27th home center and will be built on the site of a former Food World grocery store.
The new, 35,000-sq.-ft. store is expected to be open for business in late May. The location will include an attached lawn and garden center and drive-through lumberyard.
“We’ve been working toward the goal of opening a store to serve Monroeville for quite some time," said Marvin’s CEO Darrin Gilliam. "Our research indicates we will capture a great deal of sales that are currently being served outside of Monroe County."
Marvin’s will hire 25 or more associates to work in the new store. "We like to hire friendly people from the community. All of our stores have a ‘hometown’ feel," Gilliam said.
The new store in Monroeville is the one of two new stores Marvin’s is planning to open in 2011. Marvin’s currently operates 26 stores in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Marvin’s was named the 2010 Retailer of the Year by Home Channel News.