Five TDOT employees photographed allegedly sleeping on the job were called into their supervisors' offices and told that they will be under greater scrutiny.
On Friday, the Channel 4 I-Team obtained photographs that appear to show the TDOT employees sleeping on the job.
The photos were taken inside the downtown offices of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
In one photo, a TDOT employee is slumped over on her desk. Another shows that same employee with her eyes closed and head propped up by her hand. Other photos show employees reclining, appearing to be nodding off with their heads thrown back and eyes closed or heads down at their desks.
TDOT spokeswoman B.J. Doughty said the employees were called into their supervisor's offices and were told about the photos and were reminded not to sleep on the job.
Not only did the Channel 4 I-Team receive these photos, so did TDOT, which immediately launched an investigation by its internal audit division.
"Obviously, we don't want employees sleeping on the job during work hours," said TDOT spokeswoman B.J. Doughty.
The employees are identified as managers, planners and transportation specialists.
Channel 4 isn't revealing their faces or names, because the photos aren't of great quality and it's impossible to tell if they workers were asleep, dozing or had just shut their eyes.
Even though TDOT forbids employees from sleeping on the job, there is no policy addressing if they can rest on their lunch breaks. The photos are not time-stamped, so there is no proof when they photos were taken.
These new photos come following a Channel 4 I-Team investigation in May that revealed state employees sleeping on the job inside a state mental institution instead of keeping tabs on patients.
Whoever took the photos at TDOT is likely a TDOT employee and stated in a letter accompanying the photos, "Inside TDOT, selected state employees are routinely allowed to sleep on the job. Despite repeated requests, absolutely nothing has been done by Human Resources or management to stop this abuse of taxpayer dollars."
The photos arrived in an envelope marked from TDOT.
Along with the oral warnings, the state is also reviewing their policy about what employees can do on their lunch breaks.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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