walmart worker restroom

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‘Usual petty Walmart behavior’: Walmart worker was denied their break because they spent 15 minutes in the bathroom

‘Can Walmart refuse you a last 15?’


Stacy Fernandez


In a Reddit post, a Walmart worker said their boss retaliated against them for taking a bathroom break they deemed too long.

In the post by user u/Littlesubkitten_3_, the person explained that they worked a shift from 10 to 7 (it is unclear if they started in the morning or evening) and had to go to the bathroom around 4. They ended up taking about 15 minutes to use the restroom because the bathrooms at the front of the store, presumably closer to the section they work in, were full and had no toilet paper.

“So I not only had to walk back to electronics, but also had to go to the bathroom back there,and walk back,” the Walmart employee wrote.

They asked a colleague to stand in for them while they went to the bathroom, and “they said it was fine.”

But when the worker came back, their team lead called them over to say, “Since you took 20 mins in the bathroom, that was your 15,” referring to their 15-minute break.

“I literally don’t understand why some team leads are such *ssholes,” the person wrote.

In a comment, the worker added that they didn’t intend to take that long and were feeling sick.

“I explained that afterwards. They didn’t care,” the worker said.

In the post, the person acknowledge that the amount they took in the bathroom was long, but questioned whether their team lead could really take away their 15-minute break because of a long bathroom break.

The post, which was shared to the r/walmart subreddit, has more than 320 upvotes and about 120 comments.

Fellow Redditors quickly came to the worker’s defense and advised them on how to move forward.

“Policy says bathroom breaks are during work time, we are not to hold it until our 15 minute break. U was denied ur 2nd break against policy, file a formal complaint,” the top comment, with 166 upvotes, read.

“This could also be against the law as well. Going to the bathroom is basically considered medical,” another person said.

However, there is no federal law that requires workers to have a lunch or coffee break. Instead, policies vary from employer to employer, though many offer a 5 to 20-minute break depending on how many hours a person is scheduled to work.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sanitation standards, employers must: “Permit workers to leave their work area to use the restroom as needed. Provide an acceptable number of restrooms for the current workforce. Avoid putting unreasonable restrictions on bathroom use.”

Regarding the latter, OSHA also states that employees should not take an excessive amount of time during their bathroom breaks. However, given that bathroom use can vary greatly from person to person, there is no federal standard for how many bathroom breaks or how long a person can take.

Some conditions, like pregnancy, urinary tract infections, and abdominal pain require frequent restroom access, OSHA stated.

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