Thousands of commenters were left in disbelief after one employee shared an interesting note left on a water cooler at their workplace.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/antiwork, Redditor u/RemyBrady (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) posted a photo of the note, which explained that employees could pay a monthly fee to drink water on the job.
Titled, “At work — where water isn’t free yo,” the viral post has received nearly 45,000 votes and 3,000 comments in the last 5 hours.
Taped to a stereotypical office water cooler, the note shared by the original poster begins with a somewhat strange address to employees.
“Hello Water Drinker,” the note begins.
“If you would like to enjoy this delicious POLAND SPRING WATER, please see Sandra or Michelle to get signed up to the very cool WATER CLUB,” it continues.
“This water ain’t free, yo. Members are currently enjoying unlimited refills for $5 per month,” the note concludes.
In the post’s top comment, which has received more than 8,000 votes, Redditor u/bigdummy2023 pointed out that charging employees for drinking water could potentially be a violation of policies set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“If that’s the only place to get water it’s illegal to charge per OSHA,” u/bigdummy2023 commented.
“If there’s a sink or water fountain also, then it’s legal and these people need to learn to drink tap water,” they added.
According to the OSHA website, employers in the United States must provide employees with safe, or potable, drinking water free of charge.
“OSHA Standards require an employer to provide potable water in the workplace and permit employees to drink it,” the website reads. “Potable water includes tap water that is safe for drinking.”
“Employers cannot require employees to pay for water that is provided,” it continues. “An employer does not have to provide bottled water if potable water is available.”
In another comment on the viral Reddit post, which has received nearly 3,000 votes, Redditor u/saltcrown speculated that the “very cool water club” is a result of employees electing to drink water other than tap water.
“It’s probably not the company charging,” they wrote. “I’m thinking it’s the employees got together and purchased the water because the tap water is gross.”
“Reminds me of a laboratory I worked at,” Redditor u/zerostar83 added, receiving more than 1,000 votes. “Some people would use the only drinking fountain in the building as a drain for their lab samples. Hardly anybody wanted to use it.”
Redditor u/bsa554, whose comment has received more than 8,000 votes, also shared a story similar to the one shown in the viral post.
“At the school I used to work at, we had a water club because the tap water sucked,” they wrote.
“We get a new superintendent who decides…that he would just cover the cost of the water,” they continued. “This led to the discovery that the school secretary had been lying about how much water cost, 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.
“‘Ain’t free yo’, the most professional words in the workplace,” they quipped.
Newsweek reached out to u/RemyBrady for comment.