According to odditycentral.com, Anpu Electric Science and Technology, a Chinese corporation based in Dongguan, Guangdong province, admitted to enforcing a bizarre once-a-day toilet break policy and fining employees who break it with 20 yuan ($3).

Reports say some unhappy workers leaked on social media, notices of the toilet restriction issued by the company, and not less than seven staff members were penalized on December 20 and 21 for breaching the new rule.

Following online outrage, the company officials explained that many employees were lazy and used toilet breaks to smoke and avoid their duties hence they decided to put the draconian rule in place.

“We are helpless. The fact is that the workers are lazy at work,” a company manager, surnamed Cao, told Guangdong TV. “The management talked with those workers many times, but didn’t achieve a positive result yet.”

Cao further explained that the new rule was deemed a better alternative to firing staff despite its weird nature, because finding new workers would have been more difficult for the company.

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He added that workers who are found in breach of the toilet-limiting rule are not asked to pay the 20-yuan fines immediately after being caught but the money is deducted from their monthly bonuses.

Interestingly, according to company policy, workers wanting to take more than one toilet break a day, have to register with their boss before visiting the restroom, which only enraged Chinese netizens even more. However, there were some people who actually sympathized with the company, odditycentral.com reports.

Anpu Electric Science and Technology and its management received a lot of backlashes since news about the unimaginable rule went viral.

“They are forced to do this,” one person commented on Chinese website 163.com. “Some employees use the toilet for too long and use it frequently. It will no doubt hurt the company’s productivity.”

“What era is it? The freedom of going to the toilet has become a luxury,” another person decried on Weibo.

Thankfully, officials of the Dongguan Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau who told Chinese news outlet The Paper that the rule was illegal, have initiated an investigation into the matter.

Reports say toilet breaks are a serious issue in China, with private companies taking all sorts of weird measures to reduce the time spent by staff in the restroom.