Spanish man skips work for 6 years, fined $41,000

Spanish man skips work for 6 years, fined $41,000

SINGAPORE - €27,000 ($41,000) - that is how much a Spanish civil servant had to cough up after his long "siesta" was finally noticed.

Ironically, company officials only noticed his six-year absence from work after they begun preparations for his long service award.

The Guardian reported that Joaquín García, a 69-year-old engineer, began working for the local authority in the south-western city of Cádiz in 1990.

The report added that in 1996, he was posted to the municipal water board, Agua de Cadiz, where his job was to supervise a waste water treatment plant.

According to El Mundo, a newspaper in Spain, García explained that he stopped going to work because he was the victim of workplace bullying.

He admitted that he had not reported the harassment because he had to support his family.

Garcia, who is now retired, claimed that he had turned up for work daily, but found that he had no work to do.

When the engineer decided to take a hiatus, nobody noticed. In fact he continued to draw an annual salary of €37,000.

The water board assumed that García was back with the city council and vice versa.

The Independent reported that a legal case was launched in 2010 alleging that García had not done a day's work since 2004.

Not to be outdone, García lodged a complaint against deputy mayor Jorge Blas Fernández, demanding that he should be disciplined for failing to notice his absence, Telegraph reported.

He argued that if allegations of his absence were true, "it was up to Mr Fernández to make sure that this did not happen".

debwong@sph.com.sg

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