Break / Bathroom

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Break / Bathroom

Is it legal for an employer to make the
employees use the break time to go to the

Asked on November 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates that “employers allow employees prompt access to bathroom facilities” and that “restrictions on access must be reasonable and may not cause extended delays". In other words, it basically requires that employers not impose unreasonable restrictions on the use of restrooms. In your case, you are provided break time but only break tie for restroom use. Whether or not this is deemed adequate under OSHA guidelines is a matter for a local employment aw attorney to review, so you should consult directly with one. That having been said,  the ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act) might require extended or more frequent breaks as a "resonable accomodation".  So, for example, if an employee has a disability (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, a colostomy bag, etc.), an employer would have to modify its limited bathroom breaks policy to accommodate the disability unless it could be shown that doing so would impose an undue hardship. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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