Employee Says That He Is Only Allowed 59 Minutes Of Restroom Break Time Per Month — 'I'll Run Out Of Break Time After 19 Days'

When you gotta go, you gotta go — unless your boss says otherwise.

employee, desk, restroom breaks fizkes / Shutterstock / Reddit 

An employee is forced to time himself every time he needs a bathroom break on the job after his boss put a strict limit on workers’ break time. Now, others are encouraging him to either quit his job or keep a bottle on standby if he cannot leave his desk for more than a few minutes. 

The man claims that his boss only allowed him a total of 59 minutes of unscheduled restroom breaks per month. 

Sharing his story to the subreddit, r/jobs, the employee revealed that the policy was newly introduced at his job, where he works at a call center. “They track that time by making us go into an ‘Unscheduled Break’ status whenever we leave our desk when it's not one of our fifteen-minute breaks or our lunch break,” the man wrote. 


Since he works at a call center, the man claims that if he leaves his desk without updating his status to go on an unscheduled break means possibly missing a call, which will land employees in trouble with their bosses.

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“If we use unscheduled breaks for more than 59 minutes over the course of a month, we get written up, and management will even talk about terminating you for repeated offenses,” the man shared. 

Initially, the man did not expect to exceed his 59 minutes per month of unscheduled break time, since it appeared to be a lot of time on paper and he is usually able to put off using the restroom until one of his scheduled breaks. However, changes to the man’s work schedule have made it more difficult to manage his time.


“I got out of training and was given a weird schedule that makes me wait up to three to four hours between my first break and lunch break,” he wrote. “Suddenly, waiting until lunch to use the bathroom became a lot harder, and I started having to use unscheduled breaks almost every day.” 

59 minute unscheduled break for bathroom reddit postPhoto: Reddit  

According to the man if he “rushes,” he is usually in and out of the restroom and back at his desk in about three minutes. Although after calculating his work hours and total unscheduled break time, he would use up his unscheduled breaks very quickly.


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The man realized that he would exceed his unscheduled restroom break time in just 19 days. 

“So if I use one three-minute bathroom break a day, I'll run out of Unscheduled Break time after about nineteen days,” the man wrote. “Leaving me with eleven or twelve days where I either have to suffer without being able to use the bathroom or get written up for leaving my desk with no Unscheduled Break time left, and eventually get fired for it.” 

The man sought the advice of other Reddiotors, asking how he should go about the unreasonable situation, questioning the legality of it all. 

“I've heard that OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has rules in place to make sure workers have reasonable access to use the restroom, but does the fact that we're given 59 minutes of unscheduled break time over a 30-31 day period count as ‘reasonable?’” the man wrote. 


Additionally, he revealed that he is unable to take his computer into the restroom with him to avoid taking any unscheduled break time since it must always be connected to the router. “I also can't use a wireless or Bluetooth headset because they've programmed the computer to only work with the wired headsets they give us,” the man wrote. 

The man claims that his bosses heavily montior their time in and out work. 

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Most Redditors encouraged the man to find a new job. 

“Either it’s a bluff and nothing will happen [if you exceed unscheduled break time] or the owners are literally psychos,” one user commented. “Either way, you don't wanna work there if you can help it.” 


“Find a new job. It’s not reasonable at all. Prisoners probably get more freedom to use the bathroom per month than you and your coworkers,” another user wrote. “With coffee, I need a bathroom break at least a couple of times in the morning. That limit is insane. Please try to find a new job,” another user added. 

Other users noted that according to OSHA regulations, employers were not permitted to place restrictions on restroom use for their employees. 

“Employers may not place unreasonable restrictions on restroom use and they must ensure restrictions, such as locking doors or requiring workers to sign out a key, do not cause extended delays. So, yes, this is illegal,” one user shared.  “Only allowing just under an hour of bathroom breaks a month is an unreasonable restriction, and quite possibly discriminatory to people who have menstrual cycles, not to mention the definite discrimination against those with gastrointestinal disabilities.” 

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The man followed up with his original post, revealing that he suffers from IBS and that he provided his employers with a doctor’s note. His employers were not very helpful with working out accommodations for him. 


“Their solution was that I had to go into Unpaid Break whenever I used up my 59 minutes,” he wrote. “So I had to keep track of how long I was away from my desk using the bathroom and then subtract that from the hours I entered on my timesheet.” 

Although work laws surrounding scheduled break times vary by state, those who work over six hours a day are typically granted at least 30 minutes of unpaid time off per shift. This does not include restroom breaks, which employees are usually granted at any point in the day. 

Employers may be able to regulate how many hours total employees spend at their desks per shift, but they cannot regulate normal bodily functions that are bound to happen at any time. 


Employees should not have to debate whether or not they should keep a bottle at their desks just in case they are not allowed restroom breaks. They should simply be able to answer nature’s call without anyone’s protests. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.