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Walmart Forced To Pay Up After Employees Sue Them For The Right To Sit Down

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When I was a cashier, I had a love-hate relationship with the nature of the job.

On one hand, it was nice to have more physical activity than an office job, but the downside was that my legs would get tired after hours of standing.

Nowadays, many modern offices are bringing in standing desks to allow workers to transition from sitting to standing whenever they please, but not much has changed with the work environment at minimum wage jobs.

Thousands of current and former Walmart employees have spent years demanding the retailer make a change, and all their hard work may finally be paying off.

The $65 million Pay Up

A near decade-old class action lawsuit might soon come to an end after Walmart cashiers in California accused the retailer of failing to provide suitable seating for workers who've asked for it.

The lawsuit states that Walmart violated state laws by refusing to accommodate employees, but the company denies any wrongdoing.

The retailer has previously argued that sitting cashiers would lead to a loss of revenue because sitting while working makes employees less efficient. They believe sitting cashiers would not be able to move around to greet customers, look inside carts, and stock shelves.

That being said, Walmart has agreed to pay up.

The $65 million payout will be divided among nearly 100,000 current and former cashiers if the proposed settlement is approved by a judge.

"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," a court filings said, according to the LA Times.

“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 told the LA Times.

What This Means For Cashiers Moving Forward

sitting cashier
Most European countries allow their cashiers to sit down. mana mundo - Vimeo

Part of the settlement includes Walmart beginning a "pilot program" that provides stools to cashiers who request them.

While this might only happen in California, there's still a chance that Walmart cashiers across the country could have the option to sit at work.

Walmart isn't the only retailer that has been under fire for the nature of their work environment.

CVS cashiers won a class-action lawsuit in 2016 after claiming that they're entitled to sit while working.

The truth is, standing for longer periods of time is actually bad for your health.

By now, we know that sitting for long periods of time can shorten your lifespan, but the same goes for standing.

Research has shown that standing too much can actually increase your risk of heart disease.

"There are things like blood pooling in your legs, the venous return, the pressure on your body to pump blood back up to your heart from your legs, and that can increase your oxidated stress which can increase your risk of heart disease," Peter Smith, a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health told CBC News.

If sitting isn't great, and standing isn't doing much good for your health either, what should you do?

The solution is movement.

Find any excuse to move or reposition your body at least every 30 minutes to increase blood flow and improve cardiovascular health.

[H/T: Fortune / Business Insider]

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Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.