California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear that you are forced to work with such unprofessional and rude people.With regard to the law on this topic, California requires employers to "authorize and permit" nonexempt employees to take a paid rest break of no less than 10 minutes for each 4 hour period of work, or major fraction thereof. Although an employee is entitled to rest breaks, employers have the right to reasonably limit the amount of time an employee may be absent from his or her work station to use the restroom during times in which the employee is not on a designated "rest break." This means that, at least in theory, an employer can limit an employee's restroom breaks and write an employee up for abandoning their station if they take a rest room break without permission.If the employee is taking rest room breaks due to a bladder condition or other health condition that qualifies as a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act, then any adverse employment action taken against them for going to the restroom may very well constitute a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. However, not all health conditions give rise to ADA protection--only those that "impair a major life function." Thus, ADA protections may not be relevant to your employee's situation.In short, no adverse employment actionc an be taken against an employee for using their mandatory 10 minute rest periods for bathroom breaks. Employees have a statutory entitlement to this time off. However, if an employee has already taken their rest break or is not entitled to one because their shift is too short, then the employer is free to reasonably limit bathroom breaks and write up the employee for abandoning their station if they take such a breach without permission, unless they are forced to use the bathroom because they have a disability that entitles them to ADA protection.I hope this makes sense. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.Very best wishes to you.
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