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Employer counting bathroom breaks against normal break time

Discussion in 'Employment Contracts & Work Policies' started by nb8889, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. nb8889

    nb8889 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Colorado
    I live in Colorado but the company I work for is international.

    My employer has recently instituted a policy in which whenever an employee uses the restroom, they are required to deduct the time they spend in the restroom from the two 15 minute breaks they are entitled to in an eight hour day.

    So for example, if I spend five minutes in the restroom, my employer requires me to take one break that is 15 minutes, and to only take ten minutes for the second break. If I were to use the restroom
    for 15 minutes, I would be required to give up one whole break entirely, or only take 7.5 minutes for each break. And so on.

    I don't spend excessive time in the restroom, but I have a medical issue that makes it impossible for me to only use the restroom on my lunch and breaks.

    Is this legal for my employer to do?

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Colorado law requires employers to provide rest breaks.

    Breaks and meal period regulations apply to employees and employers covered by the Colorado Minimum Wage Order Wage Order Coverage | Colorado Department of Labor and Employment .

    Breaks (Rest & Meal Periods) | Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

    Rest Periods
    Every employer shall authorize and permit rest periods, which, insofar as practicable, shall be in the middle of each four-hour work period.

    A compensated ten-minute rest period for each four hours or major fractions thereof shall be permitted for all employees.

    Such rest periods shall not be deducted from the employee's wages.

    It is not necessary that the employee leave the premises for said rest period.

    Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics | 303-318-8441 | Contact Us: Contact Us | Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
     
  3. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    as long as they are giving you the breaks within the required work period, while it might not be how you want to spend your breaks, that's pretty much what breaks are meant for. If you need something different and your issue rises to the level of an ADA disability, then you should ask for reasonable accommodation.
     
  4. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    While I think it's one of the pettier things I've seen an employer do, I have to agree that as long as you get the ten minute breaks that are required by law, your employer is not in violation.
     
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  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I agree.

    If you have a special situation you should discuss it with the employer. It might help if you can support your position with a doctor's note.
     
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  6. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Just asking but how many rest room breaks do you require in an 8 hour shift? Since my prostate surgery I too have bathroom issues but they do not interfere with my work unless my break is ate or I drink too much fluids during day. Since I am aware of this is make sure using restroom is NOT an issue with my work. This includes if my break or breaks are late due to busy store or no one to cover at break time.
     
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  7. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    What I tell my employees is they can have formal 15 minute breaks, or they can go to the restroom, take a personal phone call, take a snack break etc whenever they need to, informally, but they can't have it both ways.
     
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  8. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    It's a little different in the poster's state, though, since in his state there are 10 minute breaks required by law.
     
  9. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha, but still same principal. If you're getting your required 10 minutes, you aren't entitled to extra breaks on top of it.
     
  10. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    I do agree though it's a bit much on the part of the employer and I sure don't want to be the one timing everyone's bathroom breaks.
     

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