New Bathroom Policy Has North Providence Public Works Employees Unhappy

A new bathroom policy is Mayor Lombardi's attempt to save money. A memo was sent out to employees at the The Department of Public Works requesting workers use other public facilities to go to the bathroom instead of wasting gas and time to go back to the main building.

A Department of Public Works employee sent ABC 6 the interoffice memo and asked that we look into the new bathroom policy. That employee wanted to remain anonymous, but another worker we spoke to says the rest stop policy has made employees feel targeted.

Anthony DeCesare has worked for the Department of Public Works in North Providence for seven years. He says the memo about rest room stops is abuse.

“I don't know what we did, I don't know if something went down, you'd have to ask the mayor that,” DeCesare said.

Mayor Lombardi was out of town, but his chief of staff, Richard Fossa, was more than happy to discuss the new policy.

Fossa pointed to a map of the city and explained why he says workers were “killing time” by returning to the main building to use the john.

He said, “you stopped doing what you were doing when you know you got a fire station here, you got a fire station here.”

Fossa says the mayor came up with the new rule because he says he found employees hanging out, on his random visits to the facility. Workers would say they were using the bathroom, but Fossa says coming back to the facility was a waste of gas and time.

“A gallon of gas to get back here, you took two people out of service, you took the truck out of service,” explained Fossa.

DeCesare feels he's being falsely accused of not doing his job.

“That's the farthest thing from the truth, we come here, we do whatever we can for the taxpayer,” said DeCesare.

DeCesare says they have reason to come back to the main building, using the bathroom is just a bonus.

“A lot of times too you got to understand guys come up here with wood and stuff like that to dump in the dumpsters in the yard,” he said.

Whatever the reason, the memo says if you got to go during the day, don't use the main facility if you don't have to.

Fossa says, “It's for the good of the people, the good of the taxpayer were just trying to get the biggest bang for our buck.”

“I guess I'll have to find the nearest public restroom that's in the vicinity, you know the shortest way to save gas,” DeCesare said.

Fossa says this has been an ongoing problem, and the bathroom policy is a result of verbal warnings not working. He says if a worker is close by, it's ok to use the bathroom.

But if they're not, it suggests using the fire station or any venue with public rest rooms.