Beam Backs Off It's Bathroom Policy

(LOUISVILLE   Saturday  September 7th, 2002 4:00pm) -- After an outcry from employees and labor officials, bourbon maker Jim Beam dropped its policy of limiting bathroom breaks for workers at the Clermont distillery.

The policy restricting bottling-line workers to four breaks per shift took effect in October.

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet cited the company and claimed the policy illegally impeded employees' access to toilets.

Union officials say some employees had urinated on themselves because they were afraid of breaking the policy, and some had started wearing protective undergarments.

The company said it had imposed the restrictions in response to workers who abused the old policy that allowed unlimited breaks.

Jim Beam has appealed the state citation.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)