Can my employer force me to use vacation or sick time for restroom breaks?

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Can my employer force me to use vacation or sick time for restroom breaks?

We are given our standard breaks but, I use the restroom more then 3 times in a day. I am required to intake alot of water throughout the day, and I have been keeping it to under 10 minutes a day running to the other side of the office to use the bathroom. My old supervisor was fine as long as I attempted to keep it under 10 minutes a day (it takes 6 min to get to the bathroom from my desk) but my new supervisor is trying to make me use my vacation time to “pay” the company back for using the bathroom on their time. Is this legal?

Asked on November 17, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The whole way that you have written the question makes one want to scream out a big old "NO' as soon as one finishes reading it.  What a ridiculous thing to want to use your vacation time to go to the bathroom.  My concern here, though, is that they will claim that you can not properly do your job and will terminate you as an at will employee.  But I am not saying to agree to this ludicrous set of terms  I might suggest that you seek help from an employment attorney in your area just on a consultation basis.  If you are required for health reasons to drink the water and these are the results you may have a bit more leverage than most. And ask about filing a complaint too.  Seek help.  Good luck.


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