If there’s one thing you can count on in America, it’s that we’re gonna to sue the crap outta each other.
That’s why my company makes you jump through hoops if you want to use a desk chair other than the one they provide. I’ve been dealing with neck and shoulder tension for over 2 years, undoubtedly because I’m sitting in front of a computer all day. After trying everything from chiropractors to massage therapy to switching desk chairs, I finally decided to request permission to use an exercise ball as a desk chair in an effort to help my posture and relieve my tension. Luckily for me, my HR rep was totally cool with it.
After a week, I already noticed a drastic improvement (as in, completely pain free... the massages were helping, but I only felt relief for a week or 2 at a time), and my friend Rachel decided she wanted to convert as well.
Rachel and I don’t have the same HR rep, and unfortunately, she isn’t having the same kind of luck I did. She submitted a request several weeks ago, and found out today that her request was escalated to someone else, then sent to legal.
It’s completely ridiculous to me that something as simple as a desk chair has to be a LEGAL ISSUE, but I assume they’re afraid if they “let” someone use a chair other than the expensive ergonomic one they provide, that person might hurt him or herself and sue them (side note: my current desk chair cost $10 and is the best thing I’ve ever used).
I can’t really blame them. The sad thing is, I’m sure there are people out there who would fall off the exercise ball, decide it’s somehow the company’s fault, file a lawsuit, and due to some ridiculous legal loophole, win their case.
I suggest we pass some kind of “idiot veto law” that allows judges to throw out any lawsuit that they decide is a waste of time. This would save the rest of us a lot of time and stress over things that shouldn't be a big deal (like desk chairs). I would love to be a judge then. I’d be all, “Get out of my court room and quit wasting my time. Idiot veto.”
Note to my employer: If I fall off my chair/ball, I promise I’ll only blame myself.