Michael Kun Quoted in “Hospitality Biz May Be Next Frontier In Calif. Seating Fight”

Law360

Michael Kun, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the Los Angeles office, was quoted in an article titled "Hospitality Biz May Be Next Frontier In Calif. Seating Fight." (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The California Supreme Court is poised to clarify the reach of a state law requiring employers to provide suitable seating, a ruling that could potentially force hotels and restaurants — which have largely avoided the issue thus far — to modify their policies for a broad range of employees from hostesses to prep cooks, attorneys say. ?...

"To date, we have not seen many in the hospitality area, which does not mean they're not going to come. And the California Supreme Court's clarifications of the suitability seating law could well lead to a great many," said Michael S. Kun, a Los Angeles labor attorney and co-chair of Epstein Becker Green's wage-and-hour practice.

For example, while it's accepted industry practice to see hosts or hostesses standing, it's not too difficult to imagine them doing to same job from a seat or even a high stool, Kun noted. ?...

"With cooks for instance, it's certainly possible that while a prep cook may contend that they want a seat, or are entitled to a seat, it may be the case that there will be some OSHA issues that make it unreasonable to provide a seat because it raises some safety concerns ... there may also be local fire safety ordinances," Kun said. ?...

"In the hospitality context, if there are jobs that somebody could perform from a seated position, in a wheelchair for instance, will employees claim that these jobs can be performed from a seat?" Kun said. ?...

Given the potential effects on the hospitality world, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the California Supreme Court will specifically make references to restaurants and hotels in its explanation, according to Kun.