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It’s Sick How Much Workers Lie About Being Sick


Having a job these days is a valued commodity but important or not, workers will occasionally call in sick whether they’re feeling lousy or just need that proverbial “mental health day.”

CareerBuilder’s survey of nearly 4,000 people reveals that in about a third of the cases over the past year, employees called in sick when they really weren’t sick. Not really such a big shocker and some of the real reasons for skipping work were pretty mundane, such as wanting to catch up on sleep, listed by 16 percent of the hooky players.

However, the excuses can also be pretty creative or pretty lame depending on your perspective, according to CareerBuilder, which also interviewed nearly 2,500 hiring managers and human resource professionals. Those excuses include:

  • “Employee was upset after watching The Hunger Games.”
  • “Employee’s dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation.”
  • “Employee’s hair turned orange from dying her hair at home.”

The last one sounds like an old Brady Bunch episode. In any case, employers can be pretty understanding up to a point since workers’ absences can also put a burden on their associates.

It’s not so surprising to learn then that three in ten bosses will check up on people to make sure they really are sick by either calling an employee at home or asking for a doctor’s note.

Meanwhile, the most popular month of the year to skip out on work is December since it’s not only traditionally the height of flu season but also when people go out to do their holiday shopping.


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