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Man Gets Fired for Not Coming to Work for 24 Years

Topics: Current Events

Do you ever feel like nobody at work is paying attention to what you do, to the extent that you could stop showing up for work, and maybe no one would notice? A. K. Verma, a civil servant in India, did not show up for work for 24 years. Then, he got fired.

abandoned office 

(Photo Credit: Scuglik/Flickr)

No need to check your address bar: you are not reading The Onion. It’s not really that nobody noticed that Verma was playing hooky, however. He went on leave in 1990. It seems his original leave was sanctioned, but when he asked for an extension he was denied. His boss ordered him to return to work, but he never did.

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It took two years, until 1992, for him to be found guilty of “willful absence of duty.” He continued to refuse to come to work for 22 years, and finally, on January 8, 2015, he was fired.

India’s Labor Laws

Labor laws in India are strict and very protective of workers and unions. If an employee has not committed a crime, it is nearly impossible to fire him, according to Reuters. However, in light of Verma’s highly publicized case, this seems to be changing. Laws making it easier to hire and fire workers are being lauded and welcomed by industry leaders in India. For example, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently began requiring New Delhi bureaucrats to sign into work via fingerprint scanner.

The next time you feel ignored at work, remember the case of A. K. Verma. Your boss is probably paying attention to whether you show up or not, even if she does not seem to notice. And I’ll bet it won’t take you as long as 24 years to get sacked for absenteeism, so definitely keep showing up to your job.

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ShirleydarlenestaffclerkSS Recent comment authors
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I presume he was paid in his absence or he would’ve had to find another job.


I would assume that when his leave extension was denied, his pay was immediately stopped. While he may have still been employed, his absence without approval should be marked as Not To Count As Service. Any severance benefits package when he was fired should only be applied based upon his employment up to the time when his approved leave expired.


Was he paid during the time he was not showing up?


I’m curious, did they have to give him a severance package for over 24 years of continued service, cause legally, he was still an employee….

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