6 Min. Bathroom Breaks At Work--Pee Fast or Hold It

Reply Wed 16 Jul, 2014 07:37 pm
Imagine your boss rewarding you for never using the bathroom at work Rolling Eyes That's sort of like being given the Super Bladder of The Month award. Laughing
These Workers Can Only Spend 6 Minutes In The Bathroom Each Day
The Huffington Post
By Kim Bellware

Roughly the time it takes to microwave a frozen meal or play two pop songs back-to-back is all the time a group of union workers say they have for all of their daily bathroom breaks, according to a new complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

During a protest before work last Wednesday, Teamsters union members at the WaterSaver Faucet Co. in Chicago told a local CBS affiliate they filed a complaint with the NLRB over a company policy that penalizes workers for spending more than 30 minutes per week -- which breaks down to just six minutes a day -- for bathroom breaks.

“This year, they installed a washroom monitoring system that basically keeps track of every minute you’re in the bathroom,” Teamsters Local 743 business agent Nick Kreitman told CBS Chicago.

The union said as of June, WaterSaver had already "unfairly" disciplined 19 workers for "excessive use" of the bathroom.

The company, which make faucets on a manufacturing line, reportedly installed a system that requires workers to swipe in and out of the bathroom earlier this year. But the union told Progress Illinois the disciplinary action for going over the bathroom time limit is recent -- and, perhaps not coincidentally, it came after tense labor contract negotiations during which members asked for paid sick days and health care benefits.

WaterSaver owner Steven Kersten told the Chicago Tribune the workers' current contract allows for a 10-minute morning break, a 30-minute lunch and 15-minute afternoon break. Kersten, who admitted to CNN he doesn't have to swipe in to use the bathroom, said the company lost 120 hours of productivity in May due to unscheduled bathroom breaks.

Kersten told CNN that as an incentive to employees, the company has a rewards system under which workers can earn a gift card of up to $20 each month -- $1 a day -- if they don't use the bathroom at all during work.

The union, meanwhile, says monitoring the workers' bathroom time is an invasion of privacy.

"I'm 61 years old," Rudy Dixon, a 33 year veteran of the company, told Progress Illinois. "How are you going to tell me how to use the bathroom?"

So, is worker productivity really being affected by the amount of time spent hanging out in the bathroom?

Is excessive cell phone use while in there to blame?

Is this a legitimate issue for employers? Is it a legitimate solution?
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Reply Wed 16 Jul, 2014 07:43 pm
Please evacuate before entering the work domain.
Do not sit in personal space and think.
Please become a pillball.
Reply Wed 16 Jul, 2014 07:45 pm
Isn't that timing somehow illegal?
Is there more to all that? I'm not sure I believe it.
Reply Wed 16 Jul, 2014 07:52 pm
I don't know if it's illegal, but it's one reason the union filled complaints with the National Labor Relations Board.

This sort of thing supports the need for labor unions.
Is there more to all that? I'm not sure I believe it

The news stories all seem to be saying basically the same thing. But here's another with a little more info.
Chicago workers fight 6-minute bathroom rule
CNN, wtsp.com
July 15, 2014

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Spend more than 6 minutes a day in the bathroom at Chicago's WaterSaver Faucet company and you'll face disciplinary measures.

That's what a union contends the manufacturer is pulling: timing bathroom breaks and warning employees when they can't beat the clock.

Teamsters local 743 filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming WaterSaver unfairly disciplined 19 workers in June for "excessive use" of washrooms.

The company's human resources department described "excessive use of the bathroom as ... 60 minutes or more over the last 10 working days," according to the affidavit. Do the math and it works out to 6 minutes a day.

The controversy goes back to last winter when WaterSaver installed swipe card systems on bathrooms located off the factory floor.

The company said it had little choice because some employees were spending way too much time in there, and not enough time on the manufacturing line.

WaterSaver's CEO, Steve Kersten, said 120 hours of production were lost in May because of bathroom visits outside of allotted break times.

To recoup lost hours, WaterSaver has adopted a rewards system where workers can earn a gift card of up to $20 each month ($1 a day) if they don't use the bathroom at all during work time. CEO Kersten said a few workers have already earned them.

He said that so far no one has been suspended or terminated, although warnings were issued. The company has a three step disciplinary process that starts with a verbal or written warning, which can then lead to a suspension, and finally a termination.

The union said monitoring bathroom time is an invasion of privacy.

"The company has spreadsheets on every union employee on how long they were in the bathroom," said Nick Kreitman, the union representative at WaterSavers. "There have been meetings with workers and human resources where the workers had to explain what they were doing in the bathroom," he said.

It's unreasonable given that the human body can't always perform on cue, Kreitman said. Besides, he pointed out that the company's 140 workers don't have paid sick days. Workers who can't afford to lose a day's pay come into work sick, and may end up using bathrooms more, he said.

Kersten said workers should be able to take care of most personal needs during the breaks the company gives them each day that total one hour. That's when workers have unlimited access to bathrooms without the electronic systems.

He said he understands people may have to use the bathroom outside of those breaks.

"No one is stopped from going to the bathroom," he said. But he believes workers might be spending time on their phones in the bathrooms.

If you like weird news ...

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