There’s a lot that goes on in transactional onboarding that can affect whether your company is sued by employees at a later date. However, it’s not just the forms and policy acknowledgements that matter. A failure to provide workers with the correct equipment can also lead to litigation. Safety gear is the obvious category of items that need to be requisitioned for new hires. However, there are also other types of equipment that must be made available to employees. For example, in California there is a Wage Order statute requiring retail employers to make chairs available to their workers in certain situations.

Do You Have a Chair In Place for Every Worker?

This “suitable seating” requirement puts the responsibility on employers to provide chairs for employees in many roles that are traditionally performed standing. If the task could reasonably be done seated instead, employees should be given that option. For example, working a cash register is a job that could potentially be done seated if the scanning station is the correct height. The employee would obviously need to get up to move larger objects or to interact with customers in some situations. However, the rest of the time could feasibly be spent seated. This would include periods when no customers are in line – even if the employee is still on the clock. The suitable seating regulation requires that employers provide an adequate number of seats. The furniture must be located in close enough proximity to where the employees perform their active job duties that they can actually use them as intended.

Provisioning Can’t Be Overlooked    

Lawsuits for failure to provide adequate, suitable seating are costing employers a pretty penny – even when workers’ claims are ultimately unsuccessful. It makes sense to avoid the expense of defending against this type of litigation by simply providing seating accommodations as required. This is easier said than done when new hire provisioning is left to harried store managers who don’t have a system that helps them fulfill their responsibilities.

Emerald’s Staff Service Request program can be part of the solution. It permits items such as office furniture to be requisitioned for each job position and/or for each new hire. If it turns out that seating is already in place for a new worker, this item can simply be ticked off as provided – but at least it is being checked. The rules regarding how, when, and by whom each request is fulfilled can be determined by HR to ensure compliance with state laws. The actual fulfillment of requests can easily be tracked to assist store managers in following through to provide new hires with all required equipment.

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