If I have to work 12 hour shifts withno access to a toilet in the workplace, is this illegal?

UPDATED: Oct 11, 2011

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If I have to work 12 hour shifts withno access to a toilet in the workplace, is this illegal?

I work as a security guard. The day shift has access to a toilet; the night shift has no access to any toilets for the entire shift. If I need a bio break I have to find a dumpster or fence to relieve myself. The problem I now face is that I do not wish to be arrested for public indecency. Can I report my firm for forcing me to act like an animal in my bio breaks?

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I do not believe that the law actually requires an employer to provide rest room facilities for their staff, and there clearly are some people who will not have such access during their shift--for example, many security guards, such as those who patrol the perimeter of an otherwise closed office, factory, or mall at night. What your firm is doing is bad business, unprofessional, unhygienic, and probably just plain wrong, but I don't believe you can force them to do anything about it. This may be a case where, if you don't like how the firm does business or makes you work, your best recourse is to look for a different job, so that you can work under better circumstances in the future. Unfortunately, there are limits to what you can force employers to do. Good luck.

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