is it legal for an employer to deny workers access to anything to drink for hours?

Today, it was mandated that cashiers are not allowed to have water or any other drinks while they are working, which could be anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

Asked on September 23, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

So long as workers are provided all breaks/rest periods that may be legally mandated and accomodation is given for those covered by the ADA, there is no prohibition against an employer denying on duty workers from drinking for up to a 4 hour period. The fact is that most employment is "at will", which means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. Accordingly, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination or an employment contract/union agreement to the contrary, this action is perfectly permissable under the law.

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