Employees of the WaterSaver Faucet Co. in Chicago had better lay off the coffee. Teamsters Local 743 has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board regarding the company policy limiting bathroom breaks to 6 minutes a day.
CNN reported WaterSaver considers it excessive if workers spend more than 60 minutes in the loo during a 10-day period outside regular break times. Although nobody has been fired as a result of the policy, the firm has a three-step disciplinary process that could lead to termination.
The company began monitoring potty breaks during the winter after installing a swipe-card system. CEO Steve Kersten said 120 hours of production were lost in May because of excessive bathroom breaks. However, Kersten admitted he doesn’t have to swipe into his bathroom.
“Our point of view is that anyone can go to the washroom when they need to, but what bothers us is extended periods of time and multiple trips that cause lost productivity,” Kersten told the Chicago Tribune.
To encourage workers to stay out of the can, the firm has set up an award system. Workers who don’t use the john all day can earn a $20 gift card every month.
“The company has spreadsheets on every union employee on how long they were in the bathroom,” union representative Nick Kreitman told CNN. “There have been meetings with workers and human resources where the workers had to explain what they were doing in the bathroom.”
Kersten said nobody is stopped from using the bathroom outside scheduled break times, but there were concerns workers were using the restrooms to make phone calls.
“It creates a lot of job stress,” Kreitman told the Tribune.