Boss Slammed for Depriving Workers of Chairs on Breaks: 'Too Comfortable'

The internet has slammed a company for wanting to remove chairs because workers were "too comfortable" during breaks.

In a now-viral post on Reddit's popular r/antiwork forum, user u/awfulnaut shared the story that has since been given 17,000 upvotes and received over 1,000 comments.

In the post, the Redditor explained the situation and wrote: "We live right behind a restaurant and we have a couple [of] chairs outside that the workers often sit on while on their break. We put them out for this exact purpose because otherwise they sit on our stoop and block our front door and it's awkward to knock on our front door from the inside to get them to move so we can leave our house.

"And hey, they're on break and deserve to take a load off anyway. We also chat with them pretty often, they're super nice. So we put our extra outdoor chairs out for them, for their comfort and ours."

But after a couple of weeks, the restaurant owner was out looking at the chairs.

"She's an older woman, maybe 60s or 70s," explained the Redditor: "She asks if the chairs are mine and I tell her they are. She asks me to put them away because she 'pays them to work, not to sit' and that she doesn't want them to be 'too comfortable.'"

Man relaxes in deck chair
A file photo of a man relaxing on a deck chair. The internet has slammed a boss for trying to remove chairs for her workers to sit on after claiming they are "too comfortable." DGLimages/Getty Images

The restaurant's owner said that she was planning to throw the chairs out as she didn't know who they belonged to. Taken aback by the comments, the Redditor explained that they nodded along but quickly made plans to keep the seating in place.

"I ordered one of those steel security cables and I'm going to lock them to our railing," said the poster: "She will not be throwing out our property and depriving her workers from being able to sit down on their break."

When it comes to breaks, whether and how long an employee is entitled to a break during their workday in the U.S. depends on a variety of elements including the break laws of the state where they live.

While some states have no provided meal or rest breaks, others do. Equally, some businesses that aren't required to provide breaks will include them in their policies.

But employers that choose to provide a meal or break period are legally obligated to follow certain requirements. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) says that employers who allow non-meal rest periods must pay employees for that time. Employers must also pay employees for permitted restroom breaks. But on the other hand, employers that allow lunch or meal breaks do not have to pay employees for that time.

Reddit users were shocked by the story and overwhelmingly slammed the restaurant owner.

"Someone hasn't learned happy employees work better," said one commenter.

Another user wrote: "Dude this is so trash. The other day at my new job I was putting stickers on to-go bags and there was a chair right there, so I supposed it was for sitting in right? My supervisor comes over and says I shouldn't sit while I do that because it looks bad."

"I would have asked her if she had mistaken me for someone that works for her before promptly telling her to f*** off," said another reply.

"I would get a camera so you can prosecute her when she throws out your stuff," suggested another reply.

Newsweek has reached out to u/awfulnaut for comment.

Update 06/27/22, 07:00 a.m. ET: This article was updated with a new image.