Company comes under fire after axing the 'privilege' of drinking water for staff
Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day is vital for your body to be able to function properly, and drinking water regularly can help to keep your joints lubricated, your organs functioning, and to prevent infections.
So it stands to reason, then, that you should be able to access clean drinking water while you spend at least 8 hours of your day at work, right?
Not according to one unnamed company in the US, which has been slammed online after the management team informed employees they would no longer be able to provide water because they "abused the privilege".
The company told its staff in a sign that was posted in the break room and was later shared on Reddit by the boyfriend of someone who works there.
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In his post on the Anti Work forum, the man explained: "The place my girlfriend works at just posted this sign in their break room. The company had record profits last year."
And the sign read: "We are no longer able to provide water for the team starting Monday 3/21. We have abused our privilege in doing so. Thanks, Management."
The poster later offered an update and explained managers were originally giving staff bottles of water but were not logging them in their inventory so eventually got in trouble with their bosses.
He added: "So the story is that apparently managers at her store were providing water bottles to employees but not tracking it in inventory, so after they "lost" a few dozen cases of water the managers got in trouble.
"So realistically the managers screwed up their inventory and the employees have to pay for it."
The workplace also has a fountain that does provide water, but the man claimed it was often "warm" and not as suitable to drink as bottled water.
He said: "I was told that they have a water fountain there that does technically provide drinkable water. It spits out warm-to-hot water, but technically it's drinkable so I guess they will be able to get away with it."
Commenters on the Reddit post were quick to share their outrage at the company's decision, with many pointing out that drinkable water is a right and not a privilege.
One person said: "Who the f**k wrote that? You tell that chump water is a human right, not a privilege."
While another added: "So I'm pretty sure this is against some labour law, but also just a human needs violation. Water is one of the four things needed for human survival."
"That's illegal to not provide water to your workers", a third stated.
In the US, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that employers must provide drinking water to all employees - though this does not have to be in the form of bottled water.
Potable water that is dispensed from a drinking fountain is also adequate to meet the requirements laid out by OSHA, providing it is available in "amounts that are adequate to meet the health and personal needs of each employee", and that employees have access to single-use cups.
It is also a requirement for employers in the UK to provide drinking water to employees under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
The Regulations state that an "adequate supply of wholesome drinking water" must be provided and that it be readily available at suitable and clearly marked places.
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