Boss under fire over ‘messed up note’ demanding employees clock out for toilet breaks

A passive-aggressive note written by the boss of a vegan bakery has gone viral, demanding that all employees “always clock out” – even when taking bathroom breaks

Irritated businesswoman holding paper
The boss has come under fire for the note (stock photo)

The boss of a vegan bakery has come forward to apologise after a note placed on the door of the premises went viral and was branded “messed up”.

The note in question urged workers at Red Plate Foods in Oregon to “always clock out when passing this door”, with the word “always” underlined for emphasis.

Illustrating the point further, the note goes on to detail the sort of instances this may include, listing: “bathroom breaks, 10-minute shift breaks, lunch breaks, questions regarding personal requests.”

Employees are instructed to see the floor manager on duty regarding any queries about production and told in no uncertain terms that this shouldn’t require them to leave the production area.

The note went viral on Reddit



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The note, which was shared on Reddit by the user u/VurucaAssault, concludes with the following message: “Paid break times will be added to your paycheck in accordance with hours worked”.

The poster wrote that they themselves had never worked at Red Plate Foods, but claimed to know that one person had gone as far as to hand their notice in because of the note.

Many Reddit users were left aghast by the harsh tone of the note, as well as the super strict rules, with one person saying: “Wow have to clock out for bathroom breaks. That’s messed up.”

Another replied: “It all just sounds petty.”

Red Plate Foods co-founder Becca has since responded to the backlash in a follow-up Reddit post, admitting: “This is my company, and I made this mistake”.

Apologising to her “employees and anyone who was hurt and affected by this sign, in any way”, Becca emphasised that the bakery “had no intention of taking anything away” from workers, who she described as being “the heart of our company”.

Becca wrote: “We were trying to track a new door – not the activities that happened beyond the door – and were blind to the invasion of privacy that created. We messed up”.

According to Becca, this “policy was never implemented”, with the bakery quickly realising “the harm the changes caused and our mistake of not involving employees in discussion”.

She continued: “Bathroom breaks were never docked from work time. This was a new door that needed to be tracked for food safety. We were trying to measure how the door was being used.

“We see now that this was putting the onus of measurement upon the employees, rather than facilitating their autonomy.

“Personal requests were related to recent dynamics and had absolutely nothing to do with pay requests, time off, or work-specific dynamics. We see now that this is an ambiguous term, and doesn’t show the support that we actually try to show employees.”

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