(CN) – Home Depot may be sued for violating labor code by not providing seats for employees despite having ample space available in its stores, a California appeals court ruled.
The construction retailer, which operates more than 100 stores in California, petitioned to dismiss the complaint filed in September 2009 by Devon Harris and Lawrence Winston.
Home Depot claimed it had not violated the labor code since the regulation is written in the affirmative – stating that employees “shall” be provided with suitable seating – rather than the prohibitive.
“The argument’s central flaw is that it demotes mandatory labor conditions in wage orders to simple recommendations or advice when the conditions are stated in affirmative terms,” Judge Nora Manella wrote for division four of the second appellate district.
The ruling states that labor conditions are still enforceable when they are stated in affirmative language, noting that provisions using affirmative language can concern significant matters.
Manella also rejected Home Depot’s arguments over the penalty it faces over the alleged violations.