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Employment Law/restroom breaks in California


I work in California in a Corporate enviroment.

I have an 8 hour work day with 2 15 minute breaks.  My doctor has written a note stating that I need 2 additional bathroom breaks.  

My employer has harrassed me about these extra breaks and is now requiring me to clock out for them.

Is this legal?

Tracy - Is your need for extra breaks related to anything that could be considered a disability?  If it is, you are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to accommodate disabled employees so long as the accommodation does not create an undue hardship for the employer.  An extra ten minutes can hardly be considered a hardship.  If you are an hourly employee, however, it may be allowable for the employer to either require that you make up the time or that you have the ten minutes deducted from your pay.  Clocking in and out would make this trackable.

You may not be harassed for taking advantage of the ADA, but clocking in and out is not unreasonable.  If the harassment continues, take it to the HR Department for their intervention.  They should be able to stress to the manager that such actions are illegal and expose the company to a lawsuit.  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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