Worker caught sleeping, fired

RALEIGH Elsie Hinton was fired from her position as an artist in the communications office after allegedly falling asleep at work five times.

State documents show Hinton had four warnings prior to her 2003 firing. According to a supervisor, her dismissal was also based on using an agency van without approval.

Hinton says she suffers from sleep apnea, a condition that prevents her from getting uninterrupted sleep and requires her to use a breathing device at night.

She said the device was malfunctioning and her bosses knew of her condition.

The state Office of Administrative Hearings is handling her discrimination complaint.

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