Salaried Worker Is Told To Take Breaks In His Car Because Using The Break Room 'Is Not A Good Look' For The Hourly Employees

Are only a select few employees entitled to use office break rooms?

Break room filled with employees. Fizkes /

In a post to the “Anti Work” Reddit forum, a salaried employee admitted he was told to take breaks from his car.

While the law office he works for does, in fact, have a break room, his manager told him he shouldn’t be using it, as hourly employees would get the wrong idea.

A salaried worker was told to take his breaks in his car instead of in the break room because it’s ‘not a good look’ for hourly employees.

“My manager told me to just go to my car to take breaks and that it’s ‘it’s not a good look’ because the breakroom is right by all the hourly employees’ desks and apparently one of their supervisors saw me in there a few times last week.”


Stressed worker sitting in break room. Panitanphoto /

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The man explained that there has never been any rule or regulation stating that the break room is purely for hourly employees. “Apparently, the fact that I’m salaried and don’t have to clock in and out and can use the break room at will was explained to this supervisor, but it’s still an issue for some reason,” he added.


Because hourly employees technically have to clock in and out for their breaks in the break room, his manager argued his presence would only “confuse” others — promoting a sense of entitlement towards his peers.

His manager said there was confusion over hourly employees 'clocking in and out’ to use the break room, while salaried employees don't — ‘I love being treated like a child.’

“I’m really in there maybe 3-4 times a day tops for a minute at a time to get water and coffee …This job pays as much as I’d make working at Home Depot, but looks better on a resume so I’m kinda stuck. I hate it here.”

Despite working at a law firm full-time and managing his work well, he said he “feels like a child” in his own workplace. Not only were they micromanaging and policing his work, but they were also trying to police his small moments away, taking breaks.

Instead of communicating with hourly employees and addressing their confusion — ensuring a break space for all employees — his managers instead took the easy way out: simply banishing salaried employees from the break room. 


“Ask them to put in writing that you have to take your breaks in the car. They won’t. Then ignore them,” one person commented. “It sounds like you're probably an adult. I'd suggest getting a job that treats you as such.”

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His manager’s micromanagement is an example of what disconnects leaders from their teams — ‘It’s demoralizing.’

While many employees online admit micromanagement in their offices tends to focus on tasks, the truth is many employee are being policed during personal breaks and time away, as well. Not only do studies show this kind of micromanagement to be harmful to productivity, but it often contributes to a larger, more toxic workplace environment.

@corporatedropout_mom Some signs you have a micromanager. This type of manager thrives on control for sure. They need to be in the who, what, when, where, how and why all the time. To their team it is stiffling and makes them question their ability to do their job. Sometimes this manager is like this because they are in fact a toxic person. Other times this control is how they feel grounded and they don’t even know how it looks (or feels) to their team. They also do this when they may not be well equipped to manage a team - default to micromanaging because they do not posess the management maturity to effectively help their team. Either way we can all agree that dealing with this type of manager is frustrating and can make or break your experience at a job. #corporatelife #managersbelike #micromanager #toxicmanager #toxicworkplace #workproblems #9to5life #officelife ♬ original sound - Corporate Dropout

Employees work better and remain happier in the workplace when they’re treated with respect — not demoralized or parented by micromanaging bosses. 


Not everyone uses their work to categorize their entire life — they should be afforded the luxury of breaks, personal time, and disconnect from the culture, even while taking breaks.

It’s a sentiment many commenters shared under the post.

Those micromanaging types really hate it when there is something outside their control nearby. They need the world to bend to their will at all times,” one person suggested. “Are you about to be up for a review or something? Seems like they are scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with issues so they can tell you that you aren’t getting a raise …Clear toxic workplace signals.”


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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.