Bright v. 99¢ Only Stores, 189 Cal. App. 4th 1472 (2010)

One of the requirements of the wage orders promulgated by the Industrial Welfare Commission is that “[a]ll working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats…” Cashier Eugina Bright filed this putative class action against 99¢ Only Stores based on its alleged failure to provide suitable seating for her and similarly situated employees. Bright sued under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) and sought civil penalties pursuant to that statute. The trial court sustained the employer’s demurrer and dismissed the case, but the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that suitable seating is a standard condition of labor encompassed by Cal. Labor Code § 1198 and is, therefore, subject to the civil penalties provided under PAGA ($100 for each aggrieved employee per pay period for the initial violation and $200 for each aggrieved employee per pay period for each subsequent violation). See also Home Depot v. Superior Court, 2010 WL 5175194 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010) (same).