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Do you think it is right for me to clean a public bathroom at my job?

I work in a retail environment(non-food) and our corporate office told us we must allow customers to use our unisex restroom. We are also required to clean this bathroom(wearing gloves, of course). The last few weeks, we have had customers defile this area to the point one coworker almost vomited while she was cleaning it. Another customer soiled himself and I could swear there was blood. I wound up cleaning the bathroom on this occation. Should my and I coworkers run the risk of getting some sort of illness because our corporate office requires us to clean the restroom? We are not allowed to tell customers they cannot use it. Is it in our rights to refuse to clean it? I work in NJ. Corporate is too cheap to hire a cleaning service. To the sexist that fires female employees for not cleaning the bathroom, we have MEN and women who refuse to do it. Does anyone know if this is an OSHA issue or should the Board of Health be notified? I am asking this not because I feel it's a job beneath me, I am worried I may contract some kind of illness while cleaning it. Some of our customers are not very cleanly. We already had the stomach flu in our store after a customer got very sick in our bathroom. I have to provide my own gloves as I am allergic to the ones they use. Another cost out of my pocket. Good luck trying to get reembursed. I noticed that no one was able to quote if anything here was considered something the board of health or OSHA should get involved in. Is there any guidelines from one or both of these divisions?

Asked By: hazeleyedbeauty1967 - 7/4/2007
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Female employees in retail (food or non-food) never want to clean the bathrooms. In my time as a restaurant manager I've fired plenty for refusing to do it. I never once had a male employee refuse to do it.
Answered By: Chad - 7/4/2007
Additional Answers (6)
Do what we did at my former employment... More
Answered By: Michael F - 7/4/2007
 
Unfortunately, I think this may be part of some retail companies. If you work for larger department stores (Macy's etc.) they have a hiring crew that comes in. I think it is probably just the nature of the business. Maybe apply to be a receptionist at a medical or dental office?
Answered By: ~ Jamie ~ - 7/4/2007
 
ew that sounds disgusting, and i would never clean it, not even if I was forced to... More
Answered By: xoEmilyox - 7/4/2007
 
Yes, someone has to do it and a cleaning service usually comes only once a week. That is a daily job and as you pointed out, some customers are slobs and this job has to be done more than once. I have done this many times at my job without being asked. My boss usually does it herself.
Answered By: Dee - 7/4/2007
 
Im sure your contract. If you dont have a contract then you are working there 8 hours a day and they can have you clean the bathroom all 8 ours if they want too... More
Answered By: financing_loans - 7/4/2007
 
Someone has to clean it.....If your employer provides you with gloves and cleaning materials then they are within guidelines. I am in upper management and I have cleaned plenty of restrooms in my day (and still do). I know that it isn't the high point of anyones day to clean up after nasty acting people but it is not... More
Answered By: K M B - 7/4/2007
 
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