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Are Employees Really Sick When They Call In Sick?

(Leonid Mamchenkov@Flickr)

CareerBuilder does an annual survey on absenteeism. This year they polled nearly 2,500 businesses and nearly 4,000 workers to get an idea of the excuses that employees use when they don’t make it in to work. The survey found that 30% called in sick when they weren’t actually sick.

The most common reasons for not going into work? Employees said they:

  • Just didn’t feel like it (34%)
  • Felt like they needed to relax (29%)
  • Had a doctor’s appointment (22%)
  • Wanted to catch up on sleep (16%)
  • Had errands to do (15%)

And how about some of the more unusual excuses that bosses were given for an employee not showing up for work?

  • One employee said her dog was having a nervous breakdown.
  • The employee said he forgot he got hired for the job.
  • The employee’s toe was stuck in a faucet.
  • The employee said a bird bit her.
  • The employee’s breathalyzer ignition interlock wouldn’t allow the car to start.

There were some really good ones submitted for being late.

  • One woman said a fox stole her car keys
  • One employee said he had to take a personal call from the governor (turned out to be true).
  • An employee said he believed his commute time should count toward his work hours.
  • Another employee said they were late because they were distracted by the Today Show.
  • The employee’s cat had the hiccups.


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