A South Korean mailman got a prison sentence for throwing out 16,000 pieces of mail. He said he was ‘overworked.’

A mailman in South Korea was handed a six-month prison sentence for dumping 16,003 pieces of mail.

The law stipulates that any postal worker who opens, damages, surrenders, or abandons mail may face up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 50 million South Korean won, equivalent to about $37,000.

Lee’s sentence is suspended for two years, The Korea Herald reported, meaning he may avoid serving time behind bars.

Lee, who delivered mail in Gangseo-gu, a district of Seoul, dumped the mail between January 2021 and September 2022, the outlet said.

According to The Korea Herald, Lee told officials that he committed the crime because he was exhausted after picking up work from colleagues who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and had to isolate.

The newspaper said that once his employer found out, Lee was fired.

According to a study published in the Psychol Psycother medical journal in 2021, many South Koreans experienced burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It found that the South Korean workforce’s overall levels of emotional exhaustion increased, owing to perceived threats of job insecurity, feelings of isolation, and the pressures of their jobs.

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Joshua Zitser