Is it OK for an employer to limit bathroom breaks?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Is it OK for an employer to limit bathroom breaks?

I currently work in a place of employment and we do not have scheduled breaks but asking for a bathroom break after working for 4 hours straight and being held off for another hour, sometimes 2 hours is outrageous. Most days im limited to 5 minutes to use the restroom within my 8 hour shift. Sometimes I don’t have any at all and would have to physically leave my station without persmission to go to the restroom. Please tell me this isnt legal.

Asked on September 4, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you evidently live in Indiana. Indiana is one of a few states less than one-third which do not require employers to give any breaks during work hour in your state, it is legal for your employer to give you only 5 minutes for the bathroom--or not to allow you to go to the restroom at all. Most employers do not do this, because even if they do not care about workers in a human sense, they realize that workers who are in distress from "holding it in" are less productive, and will allow reasonable bathroom breaks so employees can work more efficiently. However, an employer is allowed to be, frankly, stupid in this regard.

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