Sometimes when you take a break from your day job, you get a chance to work on your true passion, but it doesn’t always work out as one might hope. In the case of one 28-year-old civil servant in Kanagawa Prefecture’s Hiratsuka City, he got hit with a six-month suspension for writing light novels while on sick leave from his full-time position.
The man in question published four light novel books, earning 3.2 million yen (about US$28,000) from the works. Unfortunately, this broke the Local Public Service Act, so his employers suspended him for six months without pay. Rather than taking the punishment, however, the employee opted to quit his job completely.
According to the Local Public Service Act, government employees aren’t allowed to hold a separate part-time job, which could get in the way of their government work. Civil servants are allowed to take on writing activities, even those that offer payment, but in this case the issue was that the man was on sick leave and was thus already earning a salary from his full-time job.
The civil servant was busted thanks to an anonymous tip that came through to Hiratsuka City back in June, kicking off an investigation into the matter. The results found that he had written four books, posted 256 stories on a web novel site, and used Twitter to promote his books over 10,000 times. The employee thought he didn’t need permission to write his books, saying “there are many writers who write novels while working as civil servants.”
Representatives of Hiratsuka City apologized for the “extremely regrettable situation,” promising to “restore trust and prevent this from happening again.”
As for who the writer is, the Japanese press hasn’t disclosed his identity or the titles of his novels at the time of this writing.