An employee at the California Department of Motor Vehicles slept on the job for at least three hours a day for nearly four years, costing the state the equivalent of more than $40,000 in wages. A report published Tuesday by the California State Auditor found more than $160,000 worth of misused time by four employees across different state agencies.

The employee — and her bosses — still have their jobs.

The employee, who was identified only as a data entry operator, slept for more than 2,200 hours from February 2014 through December 2017, according to the audit, which was reported by Sacramento TV station KTXL. She consistently performed at lower levels than her co-workers, processing only 200 documents per day on average, compared with other data entry operators, who processed nearly three times as many. Her work was often riddled with errors, and one colleague interviewed by investigators said they would not trust her to process their own DMV paperwork.

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The employee’s supervisors tried to prevent and correct the low performance, by taking steps such as communicating expectations of the job and documenting performance issues. But it seems that is as far as the DMV supervisors were willing to go; they did not attempt to take any disciplinary action against the employee, nor did they inform anyone further up the chain of command about the performance issues.

Supervisors believed that a medical issue caused the employee to sleep on the job but did not any take action aside from providing her information on behavioral health resources, including informing human resources. The employee applied for disability accommodation, but only about two years after the sleeping pattern was first documented. A physician for the employee wrote a letter stating that she could not perform the duties of the job. After the DMV was unable to find another job for her, the agency denied her accommodation request.

The auditor’s report says the employee was then given the option to retire, resign or return to her job with a new letter from her physician saying that she could perform the duties of the job. The employee submitted a new letter from her physician and returned to work in January 2017. She continued to fall asleep on the job and perform at lower levels than her co-workers.

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The employee still has her job at the DMV. The report said human resources staff determined that the feedback the employee previously received did not contain the requisite language to allow them to move forward with disciplinary action; she was given a warning that meets those requirements in March 2018, after the auditor’s investigation. The supervisors received additional training on how to handle similar situations in the future.

California DMV spokesman Marty Greenstein told The Washington Post: “The DMV takes employee performance issues seriously. The DMV implemented the California State Auditor’s recommendations and is monitoring the unit to ensure this behavior does not continue.”

The state auditor’s report also found that two employees at California State University at Fresno claimed more than 5,100 hours in excess of the amount they had actually worked, at the cost of more than $111,000 to the state. The report also found that a nurse working in California’s prison system was incorrectly assigned to an office job, at the cost of $30,000 to cover both the nurse and overtime to cover the nurse’s assigned post.

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