Albany Democrats have introduced legislation to allow some foot-weary working New Yorkers to sit on the job — despite the risk of creating a future “Seinfeld” security situation featuring a comfy store guard napping on the job.
“Jokes are funny – but I think within reason, the argument can be made that we should be allowing folks to sit whenever possible,” Assemblywoman Karines Reyes (D-Bronx), a registered nurse experienced in accumulating steps, said about the bill she is sponsoring with state Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse).
A similar argument was made by the fictional George Costanza in a famous episode of the classic comedy series before robbers pillage a store while a security guard dozes in a rocking chair provided by the neurotic protagonist.
Supermarket cashiers, bodega clerks and those with jobs requiring lots of screen time are examples of people who Reyes says her legislation might help while workers in other jobs, like prowling security guards, might have to stay on their feet.
The bill – and its potentially comedic proportions – was first reported by radio host David Lombardo on Monday.
Research shows prolonged periods of standing can cause health problems big and small from tired feet to cardiovascular problems, according to a legislative memo accompanying the so-called “Standing is Tiring (SIT) Act.”
“This legislation presents a reasonable step in this direction: requiring employers to provide employees who can sit with the ability to do so and preventing employers from constructing workplaces to force prolonged standing unnecessarily,” the memo states.
The bill, officially introduced Sept. 9, would empower the state Department of Labor to determine rules on who would get to sit during work and whose duties allow employers to require them to stand.
That timeline will give proponents time to succeed where Costanza failed to much comedic effect – thinking through the full effects of allowing more people to sit on the job by talking to workers and bosses alike.
“We’re trying to make sure that people can actually work and work for a long time. The worst thing in life is having a job that you know kills you in a few years and cuts you out on disability,” Reyes told The Post.