The California Department of Motor Vehicles has chosen not to terminate an employee who was discovered to have been sleeping on the job for nearly half of her shift for years.
According to a recent report from the California State Auditor, “A key data operator at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) failed to perform her essential duties over a period of nearly four years because she slept at her desk for extended periods of time during work hours. We estimated that from February 2014 through December 2017, the employee misused more than 2,200 hours of work time as a result of sleeping on the job, costing the State more than $40,000.”
Additionally, the employee’s supervisors were aware that she was sleeping on the job but she says that she didn’t know just how bad the problem was: “During the investigation, the employee’s supervisor stated that because she woke up the employee three to four times each day, she believed the employee missed only 20 to 30 minutes of work time daily.”
The naps didn’t seem to be helping with the worker’s productivity. The California State Auditor found that the employee “processed on average less than half the number of documents key data operators in the unit are expected to process.” And the employee apparently made so many mistakes that “a witness explained that the employee’s work was often so inaccurate that the witness would not trust the employee to accurately enter the witness’s own address or vehicle ownership change.”
The California State Auditor said that a medical issue could have caused the employee to fall asleep on the clock, but that the employee’s supervisors should have required her to seek medical testing.
The worker is still employed by the California DMV.