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  1. #1

    Default Bathroom Breaks Not Allowed During a Certain Hours

    My question involves employment and labor law for the state of: Florida

    Just a little back story. I work for a what can be considered a fast food company. Its in the food industry. I have work here for 5 years now. I have been an excellent employee, no complaints no problems at all. I dont say that to make myself sound better just to say that i dont do anything to get into trouble while working. I work different shifts throughout the week normally staying the same each day but sometimes changing. I will also put into here that i am a female since i think this has a part to play in it.

    We normally have at least 1 manager working at all times if not 2 or even 3. I got into work at 9:00 am. Were not given breaks nor lunch breaks unless things are very slow. at around noon i had to use the restroom. Being a female and not want to be to forward in what i say, ill say its that time. I ask one of the managers if i can use the restroom quickly and get permission. I use the restroom no more than 5 minutes at the most. I come to find out one of the other managers has been looking for me. She tells me im only allowed to ask her for permission to use the bathroom breaks. That isnt the issue. The issue i have now is that no one is allowed to use the restroom During the hours of 12 PM - 1 PM. Those were her words. I know lunch hour is worst for food companies, but at the same time people have to go to the restroom.

    My question is this: If my company does not give breaks( i understand that they are not legally bound to) can they put a timed restraint on when we are allowed to use the bathroom? or rather can they tell us were not allowed to use the bathroom during certain hours of operation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: Bothroom Breaks Not Allowed During a Certain Time

    You are correct that Fl. does not require meal and/or rest breaks for adults.

    This is what OSHA says: In 2006 OSHA, the US government's health and safety enforcement agency, issued an "enforcement memorandum" clarifying the law on access to toilet facilities. It states that under the sanitation standard "the employer must not impose unreasonable restrictions on employee use of the facilities" and that "the standard requires employers to allow employees prompt access to sanitary facilities."
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    25,770

    Default Re: Bothroom Breaks Not Allowed During a Certain Time

    the problem with this though is getting OSHA to do anything about it. Florida doesn't have a dept of labor (it wouldn't matter if they did as the states with a DOL will not enforce OSHA rules either). Dealing with OSHA is very different, both for the employer and employee, than dealing with a states or federal DOL wage and hour division.


    If this business is a franchise or chainstore type business, I would consider going higher into the company rather than seeking government enforcement.
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    437

    Default Re: Bothroom Breaks Not Allowed During a Certain Time

    OSHA requires that employees be allowed to have reasonable access to restroom facilities. I don't think it's unreasonable to restrict access for one hour during what clearly is the busiest time of the day however.

    The solution clearly is to be sure to go to the restroom before the noon rush hour begins.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    71,774

    Default Re: Bothroom Breaks Not Allowed During a Certain Time

    What is reasonable "varies from person to person and even with respect to the same person. Some of the variables that can affect a worker's need to urinate are: diet, stress, pregnancy, prostate health, other medical conditions, medication use, weather temperature (working in a cold environment makes people need to urinate more frequently), and the amount and type of fluid consumed".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    437

    Default Re: Bothroom Breaks Not Allowed During a Certain Time

    True but the OP doesn't mention any health concerns that require her to use the restroom more frequently or at certain times. The solution appears to be to be sure to use the restroom before the noon rush.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    15,885

    Default Re: Bothroom Breaks Not Allowed During a Certain Time

    Concur with Beth.

    If the employer decided that you could only toddle off for a pee once per shift, I'd call that unreasonable and certainly worth a complaint to the relevant authorities. But a single restricted hour out of the entire day is negligible - even when you're hugely pregnant.

    When I was in the restaurant biz, it wasn't unusual to have a period of time when breaks of any sort were restricted. In one place that was located near a popular performance venue, the first hour and a half after a performance let out was a "no go zone". Exceptions were made for the pregnant and those suffering from kidney disease or other disorder that caused a frequent need to pee, but to the best of my recollection, no one ever availed themselves of the exception. We had the venue's performance schedule, and one of the porters would remind everyone. "Evita lets out in 20 minutes, so if you have to pee, you'd better do it now!"
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