Bus drivers deserve restroom breaks, lawmaker says
Washington – A lawmaker is calling for OSHA to investigate whether bus drivers and other transit workers have appropriate access to restrooms.
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) wrote a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez on May 15 regarding the issue, which she described as a “recurring problem” based on complaints she has received. Norton is the ranking member of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee.
Norton cited a recent case in which the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries levied a $3,500 fine against King County Metro Transit for allegedly failing to provide enough restrooms to employees, and for penalizing drivers who stopped for restrooms and delayed their routes.
In the letter, Norton said drivers in every state deserve the right to take restroom breaks.
“Lack of access to restrooms can pose health risks to drivers and safety risks to drivers, passengers, and other vehicles,” Norton wrote. “Drivers have developed conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infections, dehydration, and fatigue. Studies show that when drivers are in extreme need of a restroom, there can be negative impacts on basic cognitive functions similar to a person who has not slept or who has consumed multiple alcoholic beverages.”