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  • Restroom Policy Indiana

    I'm a department manager at a company of 125 employees in Indiana, I have a major issue of the employees under me taking advantage of the restroom situation, sitting in there playing on cell phones etc just to have an added rest break, we are talking a huge period of time. Current HR says there is nothing they can do involving restrooms but I have read enough of OHSA and Fair Labor to know that is incorrect to an extent. I also know you cant enforce something that doesn't have a written policy which is why I am taking the initiative, being a department manager, to make a policy and have the CEO himself approve this since the HR department doesn't wish to have any involvement.

    The main reason I am posting is to have some people with experienced policy knowledge to critique what I have and make suggestions as needed. I know restrooms are a tough subject and want something that is enforceable to promote employee performance but not something that is illegal and would get the us in trouble with OSHA or Fair Labor. This is what I have, feel free to make any suggestions of adding or removing

    3. Restroom Breaks
    a. If you frequent the restroom facility for lengthy periods of time, you will be requested to bring in a medical document
    b. Restroom breaks over 20 minutes will be classified as a period of rest and will NOT be paid
    c. Electronic Devices, Newspapers, Magazines etc are not permitted into the restroom facility

  • #2
    I don't have a problem with your policy in theory. I do want to know how you are planning to enforce it?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cbg View Post
      I don't have a problem with your policy in theory. I do want to know how you are planning to enforce it?
      Thanks for asking, I hadn't viewed that from a legal aspect. My means would be to monitor, by watching when they enter and come out, and documenting respectively, we have cameras that would be available to reinforce short term but those are dumped due to storage every quarter unless we have reasoning to store. Obviously wouldn't want to store every time an employee used the restroom.

      So my question is this, what are some methods other places enforce this?

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      • #4
        I agree enforcement might be an issue, but I would also suggest putting in what IS allowed rather than just what isn't. Our employees get a 10 minute paid break for every 4 hours worked and should if at all possible use that time for a bathroom/snack break. Honestly, I have to agree with you that unless there is an underlying medical condition, your policy should be fine. But I suspect you will have at least one employee that will get a doctor's note even if they don't seem to need it. And enforcing could be an issue unless you have some type of video surveillance that sees them go in and out and can time the difference.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hr for me View Post
          I agree enforcement might be an issue, but I would also suggest putting in what IS allowed rather than just what isn't. Our employees get a 10 minute paid break for every 4 hours worked and should if at all possible use that time for a bathroom/snack break. Honestly, I have to agree with you that unless there is an underlying medical condition, your policy should be fine. But I suspect you will have at least one employee that will get a doctor's note even if they don't seem to need it. And enforcing could be an issue unless you have some type of video surveillance that sees them go in and out and can time the difference.
          There is more to the document then just what I had posted, here is with the pros of the policy included.

          2. Breaks, Lunch, and End of Shift
          a. Breaks are paid periods of rest allocated by (XXX)
          i. Periods of rest are confined to the following periods of time
          1. 6:00 6:10
          2. 11:00 11:10
          ii. Employees do have the right to leave the premises of (XXX) permitting they DO NOT leave early, and they DO NOT arrive late
          iii. You are expected to be continued in your work within one minute after the end of the current period of rest
          b. Lunch is an unpaid period of 30 minutes
          i. Lunch is held from 8:30 9:00
          ii. You are expected to be continued in your work within one minute after the end of the your lunch
          iii. You are entitled to begin cleaning up for lunch two minutes before 8:30
          c. Smoking is permitting only on breaks and lunch periods
          i. Exception: Clocking Out
          1. Employees reserve the right to clock out to take smoke breaks but additional periods of rest for smoking is NOT permitted while clocked in
          d. Employees are permitted to end work for clocking out no more than five (5) minutes before the end of their shift.
          3. Restroom Breaks
          a. If you frequent the restroom facility for lengthy periods of time, you will be requested to bring in a medical document
          b. Restroom breaks over 20 minutes will be classified as a period of rest and will NOT be paid
          c. Electronic Devices, Newspapers, Magazines etc are not permitted into the restroom facility

          Comment


          • #6
            I would change b. Restroom breaks over 20 minutes will be classified as a period of rest and will NOT be paid to Breaks of over 20 minutes will not be paid. I'd treat breaks whether for restroom, smoking, or Candy Crush the same. Each employee gets X# of breaks per shift, and breaks over 20 minutes must be unpaid.

            Before that though, how big of an issue is this really? Does it require a whole policy? Or can you just meet with the worst offenders and let them know you have noticed they have been disappearing for 20 minutes at a time, 3 time a shift, or whatever. Writing a policy isn't going to change your offenders' attitudes. Those looking to game the system will still do so only I bet you will find a whole lot of 19 minute breaks being taken. Or, unnecessary doctor's notes. No need to go down the rabbit hole of medical. If when you meet with an employee to discuss the break issue they have a medical condition, they can disclose it at this time. If you have even one who has a legitimate medical concern I would be surprised.

            Banning printed media and electronic devices in the restrooms is fine.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

            Comment


            • #7
              Are you going to check women's purses or bags to see if they have any electronic devices in them?
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                At a former employer, one supervisor would monitor restroom breaks, meal periods and start/end times to ensure employees were compliant.
                Said supervisor was terminated for being more worried about his employees habits than his own work which was not getting done.
                And that was before smartphones.
                I would also see who is abusing the current policy.

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