California DMV Drives Workers Mad With Furlough Fridays

Channel 10 news in California reported that the California headquarters for the Department of Motor Vehicles is driving its employees mad with its new edict that requires employees to work on Fridays for free.

For the past year, employees at the DMV have had Fridays off so that California could save some money and reinvigorate their financially strapped and stressed economy. While workers have enjoyed the extra time off, records, drivers' licenses and identification cards have been mounting, creating a huge backlog of work to be done.

The DMV's first attempt to solve this backlog was to allow employees to volunteer to work overtime on Saturdays, but after a month of that, the DMV realized that they were not chipping away at the mountain of work that had accumulated in the past year, and there was a lack of volunteers, so the DMV has now issued a new edict-that employees must work furlough Fridays for free until further notice. According to a statement issued by the DMV to the Channel 10 news, "management has no recourse but to implement Self-Directed Furlough Fridays."

DMV Workers Forced to Work For Free

Workers at the DMV are not happy about their new assignment at all. While many acknowledge that there is a real backlog of work to be done, most, if not all, feel that being forced to work for free is just flat out unacceptable. Employees asked to comment on the matter said that they felt contained, forced and one woman even said that she felt like she was on a leash. Cliff Brandt even went so far as to compare the DMV's actions to slavery. "Nobody should work and not get paid. I think they used to have a word for it. It's called slavery.

With a state as large as California and a DMV that issues over a million drivers licenses and half a million identification cards each year, a backlog as large as this can cause a real problem for the entire system and everyone involved. Drivers are anxious to get their licenses in a timely manner, and many people depend on the DMV for ID cards so that they can open bank accounts and get credit cards and rent a place to live, so having a heap of work to process through the system, slows the entire system down, adding an extra week to ten days onto the amount of time it already takes for people to get the cards and documents that they require.

The work needs to be done and it needs to be done quickly, but mandated furlough Fridays are the source for much backlash from DMV employees. It is ironic that the definition for furlough is "a temporary leave of absence from employment, duty in the armed services, or from a prison term," because in this case, the DMV's mandated furlough makes its employees feel like prisoners with no options.

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