Thousands of commenters were left in disbelief after an employee shared an interesting note left on a water cooler at their workplace.
In a viral Reddit post posted to r/antiwork, Redditor u/RemyBrady (otherwise known as the original poster, or OP) posted a photo of the note, which explained that employees could pay a monthly fee to drink water at work.
Titled “At work – where the water isn’t free”, the viral post has received almost 45,000 votes and 3,000 comments in the past 5 hours.
Taped to a stereotypical office water cooler, the note shared by the original poster begins with a somewhat odd address to employees.
“Hello Water Drinker,” the note begins.
“If you want to enjoy this delicious POLAND SPRING WATER, please consult Sandra or Michelle to join the very cool WATER CLUB,” he continues.
“This water is not free, yo. Members currently get unlimited refills for $5 a month,” the note concludes.
In the lead comment for the post, which received over 8,000 votes, Redditor u/bigdummy2023 pointed out that charging employees for drinking water could potentially violate policies set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). .
“If this is the only place to get water, it’s illegal to charge according to OSHA,” u/bigdummy2023 commented.
“If there is also a sink or a water fountain, then it is legal and these people must learn to drink tap water,” they added.
According to the OSHA website, employers in the United States must provide their employees with safe or potable drinking water free of charge.
“OSHA standards require an employer to provide potable water in the workplace and allow employees to drink it,” the website states. “Potable water includes tap water that is potable.”
“Employers cannot require employees to pay for the water supplied to them,” he continues. “An employer is not required to provide bottled water if potable water is available.”
In another comment on the viral Reddit post, which received nearly 3,000 votes, Redditor u/saltcrown speculated that the “very cool water club” is the result of employees choosing to drink water. water other than tap water.
“Probably not the company that bills,” they wrote. “I think it was the employees who got together and bought the water because tap water is disgusting.”
“Reminds me of a lab I worked in,” added Redditor u/zerostar83, receiving over 1,000 votes. “Some people were using the only water fountain in the building as a drain for their lab samples. Hardly anyone wanted to use it.”
Redditor u/bsa554, whose comment received over 8,000 votes, also shared a similar story to the one shown in the viral post.
“At the school where I worked, we had a water club because the tap water sucked,” they wrote.
“We have a new superintendent who decides…he would just cover the cost of the water,” they continued. “This led to the discovery that the school secretary had lied about the cost of water, overcharging everyone and pocketing the difference.”
In a separate comment, Redditor u/HuckleberryThis2012 questioned the informal language used in the note shared by the original poster.
“‘It’s not free,’ the most professional words in the workplace,” they joked.
Newsweek contacted u/RemyBrady for comment.