Checking up on toilet breaks?

I just found out that my boss has followed me to the bathroom and a co-worker has experienced the boss entering the men’s room and/or waiting outside until he came back out. Is this okay?

Posted  06-12-2013

Steve Duggan replies:

While I don’t recommend it as an employment practice, there is nothing illegal about an employer investigating an employee’s time away from work if they are being paid for such time, including following them to see if they are really going to the bathroom or how long they stay in there. (Watching someone actually going to the bathroom–peeking into a stall, or even at a urinal– would be a violation of that individual’s right to privacy though and perhaps discriminatory or harassment.) Such a practice, of course, screams of a lack of trust, and is certainly not good for morale or long term productivity.

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About the Author:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.