US Poultry Workers Denied Bathroom Breaks, Forced to Wear Diapers

Tina Rivera
(Photo: OBSEV / Getty)

Next time you take a bite of chicken you might want to consider where it came from. A new report by Oxfam America has detailed the horrifying conditions that many US poultry workers face today, and it includes low-earning employees being reduced to wearing diapers on the job, all because they are denied bathroom breaks in efforts to increase efficiency and “pump out” as much chicken for big name brands as possible.

According to Quartz, a recent survey of factory workers in Minnesota found that 86 percent of respondents said they receive only two bathroom breaks per week. Degradation at its finest, employees are essentially forced to wear diapers and soil themselves on the job—making for a real sh*tty environment.

Wall Street Journal

“Poultry workers stand shoulder to shoulder on both sides of long conveyor belts, most using scissors or knives, in cold, damp, loud conditions,” said Debbie Berkowitz, former chief of staff at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “They urinate and defecate while standing on the line… they restrict intake of liquids to and fluids o dangerous degrees; they endure pain and discomfort while they worry about their health and job security,” Berkowitz added.


Complaints have also been filed by poultry workers in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Delaware, while Oxfam has launched a campaign addressing the health issues related to the illegal treatment of poultry employees. Oxfam specifically targeted Tyson Foods, however, the big name chicken brand said they had no knowledge of the unfair treatment of their employees. Other companies added they will look into the allegations.