Shit Yeah: An Aussie Court Has Ruled It’s Your Legal Right As A Worker To Poop On Company Time

Well, it looks like you’re actually allowed to go to the toilet at work after all. Yeah, apparently that wasn’t a thing before…well, legally speaking that is. Because for the first time a federal court has ruled that workers have a legal right to go to the toilet and drink water at work. Um, yay I guess?

In a Facebook post, the general manager at a McDonald’s franchise in Queensland apparently told their workers that the company had no obligation to let them go to the bathroom outside scheduled breaks.

In the ruling, Justice Logan said that workers were entitled to use the bathroom when reasonable, in addition to the paid 10-minute breaks.

“The right to access the toilet or a drink of water was, in my view, a workplace right,” Justice Logan said.

The ruling is a win for the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union, who had been running a campaign alleging a Macca’s franchise in Queensland wasn’t giving its employees their mandated 10-minute break every four hours.

The reason it reached the Federal Court was because the restaurant’s general manager made a “shoot from the hip” Facebook post against the campaign, arguing that to enforce the 10-minute break rule would mean staff would be banned from using the bathroom (or grabbing a drink of water) at any time outside the 10-minute break.

“So I hope to god you don’t get thirsty on your next shift because we just wouldn’t be able to allow a drink,” he wrote. “Fair is fair right?”

Unfortunately, anyone who’s worked in hospo probably has a horror story about not being able to take a bog break mid shift. At my first job at a fast food franchise they would get mad if you went to the toilet too many times, and when I worked at a café my boss would time our toilet breaks. As a side effect from that, at least I now have very strong pelvic floors.

I wonder how workers will celebrate this new ruling? A drink of water, maybe?