Sodexho employees forced to stand despite long shifts

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have to stand for 10 hours as part of your job? If you have, just ask a Sodexho employee.

According to food services manager Linda Carter, Sodexho’s company policy calls for its employees to stand at all times, unless they have a medical reason for having to sit down. The only time employees are allowed to sit is during their 10- or 30-minute breaks.

A cashier for Sodexho who wishes to remain anonymous disagrees with this rule.

“We work ten-hour shifts. That’s bad for your back!” she said.

The cashier also said a girl was written up for sitting down at the cash register after being told not to.

Carter said this was not true. “Not one person has gotten written up for sitting,” she said.

According to the employee, if a worker is written up three times, they will be fired. “It looks bad for business,” the employee said. “They used to have chairs a while ago. I guess people were taking advantage, falling asleep.”

Carter, however, said Sodexho has never had chairs and employees were never allowed to sit.

She said that cashiers were taking chairs from tables and moving them over to the cash register in order to sit.

According to Carter, whenever she sees an employee sitting down, she just signals to them to stand.

“If they continue to sit after we tell them to (stand), they would get written up,” Carter said.

Carter defends the policy as necessary not only for professionalism, but for safety as well.

She said if someone tried to steal the cash register while a cashier was standing, the employee would be “at a more prone position to flag someone down.”

Carter also said the job of cashier is “the most important in the place” because they monitor who comes in and out and they handle cash. “They’re the eyes and ears for us,” she said.

As for slow times when there are no customers, Carter said employees are supposed to use the time to wipe the tables.

Jeff Pillar, senior political science major, said he thinks cashiers should be allowed to sit.

“That’s probably Sodexho at its worst,” he said. “It’s a really bad excuse that (cashiers) have to be protecting the cash register.”

Carter said she is sympathetic towards the cashiers and all the other employees who have to stand all day, but still feels that this policy should be enforced.

“I understand the frustration, but they don’t get paid to sit,” she said.