Chicago Company Limits Bathroom Break to Six Minutes per Day

First Posted: Jul 17, 2014 08:08 AM EDT

Workers of a Chicago faucet company have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that they are being penalized for spending more than 6 minutes a day in the washroom!

The company has installed a swipe card to enter-exit  the washroom and also has a spreadsheet on every union employee to know how long each spends in the washroom. If a person spends more than 6 minutes a day in the bathroom, the company issues a verbal warning followed by written and then suspension from work.

Anything beyond 60 minutes in the washroom for a 10-day period was counted as excessive by the company

"During May, 120 hours of production was lost for the company due to extended bathroom visits excluding the break time," said Steve Kersten, WaterSaver's CEO to CNN Money.

The human resource held a meeting with the staff and asked for an explanation for the extended time in the washroom said Nick Kreitman, the union representative at WaterSavers.

The authorities believe the workers use the time to text or call.

WaterSaver has tried to cut down on loss of man hours by adopting a reward system. If the workers don't use the washroom at all during work hours, they can earn upto $20 each month ($1 per day) as gift cards. This has helped workers desist using the washroom unwantedly said Kersten.

The union, on its part, says monitoring bathroom time is" an invasion of privacy".

The company has 140 workers who don't have paid sick leave, so worker who can't afford to  lose a days' pay come into work sick and might end up using the washroom more than the limited minutes, said union representative to CNN Money. 

According to Federal law the company is allowed to monitor bathroom timings for better productivity.

But is just limiting a worker to a 6-minute break per day healthy?

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