Japanese worker punished for starting lunch three minutes early

A shocking report states that a civil servant was given punishment for ‘habitually’ getting up few minutes earlier than the break time to buy the lunch.

The employee is not named in the report but is reported to be at the age of 64 and works at the waterworks bureau in the western city of Kobe. He was punished after he was caught leaving his workspace three minutes earlier than the allotted time of lunch break. This violation occurred about 26 times over the course of seven months.

Several officials at a senior post in the bureau then contacted a TV news conference, where they shared their regrets about the guy’s behavior and not only that, they bowed down as a way to apologize for it.

The action was demanded from the Japanese government after a social movement was started over the suicide of Matsuri Takahashi, 24, who took his own life after being forced to work hundred hours overtime a month, with no holidays. His death made the issue of strict work environment culture come to light, which forces people to work hard as a means to demonstrate their dedication to their employer. The government’s official number states that the Japanese work culture has put one out of five people at the risk of death due to the amount of work that is done.

This latest case of punishing a person for leaving the workplace just three minutes earlier has started a social media outrage.

The official was caught when he was seen by another colleague through the window when he was going out to buy himself lunch from a nearby restaurant. This triggered the management to calculate how much time he has spent away from his workspace and then decided to cut his half day’s pay. The official gave the reason for his early departure; he said that he needed a ‘change of pace’.

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