California DMV worker snoozed on job 3 hours a day for about 4 years, audit finds

A California Department of Motor Vehicles employee slept three hours a day on the job for nearly four years-- all while her supervisors knew, according to a state auditor’s report released Tuesday.

And the employee still works there.

Between February 2014 and December 2017, the employee snoozed through an estimated 2,200 hours’ worth of work, costing California taxpayers more than $40,000, the audit said.

The worker, who was not named in the report, is a data operator responsible for updating information on address changes and new vehicle ownership forms.

According to the report, a typical data operator averages 560 documents a day, but the worker managed only 200, leaving other data operators to pick up the slack, the audit found. Her colleagues said her work was filled with errors, the report said.

The worker’s supervisors had been aware of her misuse of time but “failed to take disciplinary or medical action against the employee after initial efforts to address her conduct proved unsuccessful,” the audit said.

In November 2016, the worker’s request for reasonable accommodation was denied. Two months later, the worker’s physician indicated she could “perform all of her duties.”

DMV officials told state auditors that they did not pursue disciplinary action against the worker because her behavior had not been properly documented.

Previous disciplinary attempts were found by legal and human resources staff to have not had “appropriate language necessary for such disciplinary action,” the audit said.

[D]espite the employee failing to correct her behavior, the employee's supervisors did not initiate adverse action within the State's progressive discipline process to ensure that her behavior did not continue.

— California State Audit

The audit said proper documentation was completed in March 2018 and the employee was reportedly warned that she could be disciplined for sleeping on the job.

State auditors recommended DMV take action against the supervisors who failed to discipline the worker. The agency told state auditors that it is training the supervisors “on the importance of following the State’s progressive discipline process.”


The DMV is now consulting with human resources to determine the next steps to take with the employee, the report said.

The case was one of 1,481 instances of alleged improper governmental activities investigated by the California State Auditor’s Office over the past year.