The Hush Post: Can one lose salary for leaving work early for lunch? A Japanese city official has been lambasted and fined for leaving his work station during work hours three minutes before lunch hours.
The official, who works at the waterworks bureau in the city of Kobe, began his lunch break early 26 times over the space of seven months.
“The lunch break is from noon to 1 pm. He left his desk three minutes the break,” the spokesman said on Thursday.
The official, 64, had half-a-day’s pay docked as punishment and his bosses called a press conference to seek apologises. “It’s deeply regrettable that this misconduct took place. We’re sorry,” a bureau official said.
The worker was in complete violation of a public service law stating that officials have to concentrate on their jobs. The news sparked a discussion on Japanese social media, with many defending the official.
“It’s sheer madness. It’s crazy. What about leaving your desk to smoke?” said one Twitter user.
“Is this a bad joke? Does this mean we can’t even go to the bathroom?” said another.
The city had in the past suspended another official in February for a month after he had left his office several times to buy a ready-made lunch box during work hours. The official was absent a total of 55 hours over six months.