A 61-year-old employee of the Osaka prefectural government in Japan will have his salary cut by 10% and pay a fine of 1.44 million yen (about 10,000 euros). Crime? Made 4512 smoke breaks at work in 14 years.
But he wasn’t the only one who did it. According to the Japanese newspaper The Mainichi, two other male finance employees have taken similar breaks, but they will only have their pay cut and will not have to pay fines.
The investigation into the case began in September 2022, after Human Resources receives an anonymous tip. Employees were warned not to leave the smoking area, and in December of that year, in a meeting with their boss, they lied, claiming that they no longer smoked during work hours, as they had been warned about it.
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Result. They had a 10% pay cut for six months and one of the employees, a 61-year-old, will have to pay back the equivalent of 10,000 euros. The fact is that in 14 years he smoked 355 hours and 19 minutes of work, so his sanction became harder – in Japan you can’t take coffee breaks or smoke breaks.