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California workplace law: Money penalties if your employer doesn't provide adequate toilets, bathrooms and/or washing facilities

Toilets, Bathrooms, Restrooms and California Workplace Law and Money Penalties!

 

Do I have the right to have a toilet/ bathroom at work in California?

Yes, California OSHA laws require employers to provide toilet facilities, sanitation facilities/ hand washing facilities.
 
If your employer does not follow any of the toilet requirements, bathroom requirements, sanitation requirements and/or hand washing facility requirements that I discuss in this article, you can bring a Private Attorney Generals Act (PAGA) lawsuit in order to enforce your California workplace rights. The PAGA penalties can add up quickly.
 
The short answer is that you may be entitled to A Lot of money in PAGA penalties if your employer does not follow California OSHA regulations and/or Wage Order regulations in regard to toilets, bathrooms, hand washing facilities and/or sanitation facilities.
 

In this article, I answer or address the following questions and/or issues: 

Am I entitled to money if my employer does not provide toilets, adequate toilets, bathrooms, adequate bathrooms, sanitation facilities and/or hand washing facilities?
 
California workplace rights - toilets / restrooms
 
Do I have the right to a toilet/ restroom in my California workplace?
 
How many toilets must California employers provide?
 
Number of toilets for agricultural employers:
 
Number of toilets for construction employers:
 
Must the toilet/ restroom have toilet paper supplied?
 
Do California employers have to provide sanitation facilities?
 
What if the facilities are not kept in good working order?
 
What if the facilities are not kept clean?
 
What can I do if my California employer does not provide toilets, adequate toilets, restrooms, bathrooms, hand washing facilities and/or sanitation facilities?

Case Study - warehouse with inadequate toilets and hand washing facilities ($33,400 penalties and wages)

 

Why is Bill Turley asked to testify concerning wage law legislation at the California State Senate and the California Assembly?

California workplace rights - toilets / restrooms PAGA laws - Bill Turley

A No B.S. straight-shooter lawyer

Believe it or not, Bill is known for being a no B.S. straight-up lawyer. Besides being known as one of the leading experts on this area of the law in California, one of the reasons why Bill is asked to testify at legislature hearings is because he is known for being straight-forward and blunt. He is known for being no B.S., with no lawyer-talk, no double-talk.
 

Bill Turley testified at the legislative hearings for the new PAGA laws and he helped write the PAGA laws

 
Violations of California OSHA laws relating to restrooms, toilets, hand washing facilities is based upon PAGA violations. Bill Turley not only testified at the California State Assembly Hearings for the new PAGA laws. PAGA lawsuits are how California employees can receive money penalties. 
 
Bill also wrote the winning brief in the California Supreme Court case concerning PAGA - Williams vs. Superior Court. In the Williams case the California Supreme Court held that employees that bring PAGA actions are entitled to the contact information for the other aggrieved employees at the company. 
 
 
Happy clients that received their unpaid wages checks

Happy clients that received their unpaid wages checks

Am I entitled to money if my employer does not provide toilets, adequate toilets, bathrooms, adequate bathrooms, sanitation facilities and/or hand washing facilities?

Yes. You and your co-workers could be entitled to PAGA penalties if you employer breaks these laws regarding workplace toilets, bathrooms, sanitation facilities and/or hand washing facilities.
 

California Workplace Rights - Toilets / Restrooms

Do I have the right to a toilet/ restroom in my California workplace?

Yes. California OSHA regulations (Title 8 regulations) require employers to provide separate toilet facilities for males and females based on the numbers of employees of each sex.
 
These OSHA regulations regarding toilets are as follows:
 
- Section 1526 (construction),
- Section 3364 (general industry),
- Section 3457 (agricultural operations), and
- Section 5192 (hazardous waste operations and emergency response)
 
Thus, most California employees are covered by Section 3364 - General Industry. This requires employers to provide employees with restrooms.
 

How many toilets must California employers provide?

Separate toilet facilities shall be provided for each sex according to the following table:
                                                  Minimum Number of
   Number of Employees                Toilets
          1  to  15...................................1
        16  to  35...................................2
        36  to  55...................................3
        56  to  80...................................4
        81  to  110.................................5
        111 to  150.................................6
         over 150...................................1 additional for
                                                          each additional 40
                                                          employees or
                                                          fraction thereof.
 
Urinals may be installed instead of water closets in toilet rooms to be used only by men provided that the number of water closets shall not be less than two-thirds of the minimum number of toilet facilities specified. Section 3364.  
 
The toilets must lock and provide sufficient privacy. Section 3365.

Number of toilets for agricultural employers:

Separate toilet facilities for each sex shall be provided for each twenty (20) employees or fraction thereof. Section 3457.
 

Number of toilets for construction employers:

Separate toilet facilities for each sex shall be provided for each twenty (20) employees or fraction thereof.
 

What if my employer has 5 or fewer employees?

If your employer has five or fewer employees, then they are allowed to provide one toilet for both men and women. However, it must provide privacy and a locking door. Section 3365.
 

Must the toilet/ restroom have toilet paper supplied?

Yes, under California law, the employer must provide an adequate supply of toilet paper in the toilet.
 

Do California employers have to provide sanitation facilities?

Yes, under California law, California employers must provide hand-washing facilities. Section 3366.
 

What if the facilities are not kept in good working order?

Under California law, washing facilities shall be maintained in good working order. Section 3366.
 

What if the facilities are not kept clean?

Under California law, washing facilities shall be maintained in a sanitary condition. Section 3366.


What can I do if my California employer does not provide toilets, adequate toilets, restrooms, bathrooms, hand washing facilities and/or sanitation facilities?

As it turns out, you can do a lot about it. You may be entitled to A LOT of money. You can bring a Private Attorney Generals Act (PAGA) lawsuit in order to enforce your rights. Under PAGA, penalties may be recovered. Part of the penalties collected go to the State of California and part of the penalties got to the “aggrieved employees.” And, you may be able to being a class action lawsuit relating to rest breaks and toilets. 
 
Generally, each aggrieved employee is entitled to $25 per violation for the first pay period and $50 per violation for subsequent pay periods. This is for each separate violation.
 
Under most circumstance, you can expect to have multiple PAGA violations for OSHA violations and Wage Order violations. 
 
Thus, you are probably looking at multiple PAGA violations for every pay period. We have had cases where there were well over 10 separate PAGA violations for every pay period.
 
Thus,this is over $500 for each employee for each separate pay period. You can see how this can really add up fast.
 
As it turns out I know a lot about PAGA because I helped write the recent changes to California’s PAGA laws.
 

Case Study - warehouse with inadequate toilets and hand washing facilities ($33,400 penalties and wages) 

Tomas worked for a large warehouse that did order fulfillment in California. There are hundreds of employees at the warehouse. The warehouse has a women's restroom that has two toilets and a men's restroom that has three toilets and two urinals. There are two hand washing sinks in the women's room and two hand washing sinks in the men's room. 

The bathrooms are generally disgusting. They are rarely cleaned and constantly run out of toilet paper. The lock is broken on one of the toilets. 

Further, the workers are told that they must use the toilets/ hand washing facilities during rest breaks and meal breaks. The workers get two 15 minute rest breaks each shift, and they are expected to be back at the their work station within 15 minutes. 

There are multiple OSHA PAGA violations, Wage Order PAGA violations and Labor Code violations at this warehouse. Tomas is paid $18 an hour. The company pays their employees weekly. Tomas worked at the warehouse for one year. 

Violations: 

First, the warehouse employer has not provided enough toilets for the workplace . This is an OSHA violation. (Section 3364, OSHA PAGA violation #1).

Second, the the warehouse employer has not provided enough hand washing stations (Section 3366, OSHA PAGA violation #2). 

Third, the inadequate toilet paper is a violation. (Section 3366, OSHA PAGA violation #3). 

Fourth, the unsanitary conditions is a violation.  (Section 3366, OSHA PAGA violation #4).

Fifth, requiring employees to use the toilet during rest breaks is a violation of Wage Order 9. (Wage Order 9, PAGA violation #5). 

Sixth, requiring requiring employees to use the toilet during rest breaks is a violation of Wage Order 9. (Labor Code Section 226.7 and  PAGA violation # 6). 

Seventh, not allowing a net 10 minutes for rest breaks is a violation of Wage Order 9. (Labor Code Section 226.7 and PAGA violation #7). 

Eighth, not paying an hour's pay for wages for violation of Labor Code Section 226.7 (see above) is a violation of Labor Code Section 226. (And PAGA violation #7)

Ninth, not paying all wages owed at time of termination is a violation of Labor Code Section 203. (And PAGA violation #8). 

This is 8 PAGA violations. That is $25 for the first pay period, per violation:

$25 x 8 = $200 

That is $50 for each subsequent pay period, per violation: 

$50 x 8 x 51 weeks = $20,400

Thus, that is $20,600 in PAGA violations. 

In addition, conservatively, there is a 226.7 violation for not providing rest breaks every shift. 

$18 x 260 shifts = $4,680. 

Tomas is owed $4,000 for paystub violations under Labor Code Section 226. 

And Tomas is entitled to waiting time penalties, under Labor Code Section 203, as follows: 

$144 daily wage x 30 days =  $4,320 

The total penalties and unpaid wages Tomas is owed is as follows: 

$  20,400    PAGA penalties
$    4,680    226.7 / rest breaks

$    4,000    pay stub violations
$    4,320    waiting time penalties 
$  33,400   Total penalties and wages owed

Getting your unpaid wages settlement check - YES!!!
 
Getting your unpaid wages settlement check - YES!!!

Questions or if you need help right now?


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This article isn't legal advice
 
These discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. These testimonials, endorsements, case studies, photos and/or discussions do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation. Every case is different. There are any number of reasons why class actions are not certified, not won and/or PAGA actions are not successful.
 
Just because we have gotten great results in so many other unpaid wage cases, doesn't guarantee in particular result in other cases. Including, your wage case. Every case is different. In other words, your mileage may vary.
William Turley
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“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”