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A Chinese company has come under fire for fining “lazy” employees who take more than one toilet break per day.

The company admitted to enforcing a bizarre once-a-day toilet break policy and fining employees who break it with 20 yuan ($3).  According to notices issued by the company at least seven staff members were penalized on December 20 and 21. The rule has sparked outrage online, but company officials explained management’s decision to create a bizarre rule by saying that many employees were lazy and used toilet breaks to smoke and avoid their duties.

“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 added that the toilet break-limiting rule was deemed a better alternative to firing staff, because finding new workers would have been more difficult. He also clarified that offenders had not been asked to pay the 20-yuan fines, instead, the amount was deducted from their monthly bonuses.