How Long Is Too Long On the Loo for DMV Employees?

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SACRAMENTO --

The Department of Motor Vehicles is undergoing a union grievance procedure after union workers at its Power Inn Road call center claimed that managers were docking time off and pay for taking restroom breaks longer than 7 minutes.

A DMV spokesperson says the DMV is preparing responses to the grievances.

Documents show that the president of the local labor council of the SEIU Local 1,000 was accused of racking up over an hour of bathroom time during one shift.

Dana Meza says her logs show that it was closer to 29 minutes during an 8 and half hour shift when she was sick. She says she took an 8 minute and a 9 minute bathroom break that day along with two shorter visits.

The union says the grievances are indicative of a policy that penalizes employees for bathroom breaks outside normal lunch and the two 10 minute breaks per day, regardless of disabilities or health issues.

Union steward for the DMV headquarters, which employs several thousand workers, says the bathroom policy is beginning to be felt there.

"They may lose their jobs or they may get written up, so it's a fear," said Jacqueline Wilburn, chief steward for Service Employees International Union local 1,000.

The grievance documents show that managers may be concerned about unauthorized time away from employees desks or work stations. The union says bathroom breaks are often needed outside the regular breaks, especially if workers have medical problems.

"The DMV takes these matters seriously and is looking into the allegations. In addition, the DMV does not have a policy that limits the amount of time an employee may use the restroom," said DMV spokesperson Jaime Garza in a written statement.

FOX40 spoke with one employee at the call center who says the union's view is not shared by the majority of workers at the facility.

Another employee who works at the headquarters facility told FOX40 that it's frustrating when managers follow an employee to the restroom.

The union insists that an unwritten policy is arbitrarily being applied and hopes to negotiate an understanding regarding bathroom breaks.

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