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Osaka Pref. employee hit with salary cut for smoking 4,512 times during work over 14 yrs

The Osaka Prefectural Government headquarters (Mainichi/Yumi Shibamura)

OSAKA -- An Osaka Prefectural Government employee received a 10% salary cut for six months and was ordered to return 1.44 million yen (about $11,000) of his salary for smoking a total of 4,512 times during work over 14 1/2 years.

    The prefectural government announced on March 20 that three male employees who belong to the finance department have been disciplined with a 10% pay cut for repeatedly smoking during working hours. Of the three, a 61-year-old worker, whose violations were confirmed over a 14-1/2-year period, smoked 355 hours and 19 minutes in total while on duty and was given a six-month pay cut.

    According to the prefectural government's human resources division, an anonymous tip was received in September 2022, and the supervisor cautioned the three employees. The supervisor followed them and learned that they had been smoking repeatedly since then, but the three apparently lied that they had not smoked since receiving the warning at an interview in December of the same year. The 61-year-old employee will return 1.44 million yen in salary, as his act constitutes a violation of public servants' duty of devotion to work under the Local Public Service Act.

    (Japanese original by Masaki Ishikawa, Osaka City News Department)

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