HR Management, Talent Management

The 15 Craziest Excuses Employees Have For Calling in Sick to Work

© Alexey Bannykh - Fotolia.com

By Eric B. Meyer

CareerBuilder.com just released its annual list of most unusual excuses for calling in sick. “Lost track of time browsing TLNT or TheEmployerHandbook.com” didn’t make the list. (Probably because it’s sooooooo commonplace).

Here are the top 15:

  1. Employee’s 12-year-old daughter stole his car and he had no other way to work. Employee didn’t want to report it to the police.
  2. Employee said bats got in her hair.
  3. Employee said a refrigerator fell on him.
  4. Employee was in line at a coffee shop when a truck carrying flour backed up and dumped the flour into her convertible.
  5. Employee said a deer bit him during hunting season.
  6. Employee ate too much at a party.
  7. Employee fell out of bed and broke his nose.
  8. Employee got a cold from a puppy.
  9. Employee’s child stuck a mint up his nose and had to go to the ER to remove it.
  10. Employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.
  11. Employee got his toe caught in a vent cover.
  12. Employee had a headache after going to too many garage sales.
  13. Employee’s brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel while in Mexico.
  14. Employee drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.
  15. Employee was at a bowling alley and a bucket filled with water crashed through the ceiling and hit her on the head.

When are employees most likely to call in sick?

  • Winter – January through March – 34 percent;
  • Spring – April through June – 13 percent;
  • Summer – July through September – 30 percent; and,
  • Fall – October through December – 23 percent.

Of those surveyed, only 28 percent reported checking up on an employee who calls in sick, citing the following examples:

  • 69 percent percent required a doctor’s note.
  • 52 percent called the employee.
  • 19 percent had another employee call the employee.
  • 16 percent drove by the employee’s home.

Here is an infographic summarizing all of the survey results.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

Eric B. Meyer is a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP . He dedicates his practice to litigating and assisting employers on labor and employment issues affecting the workplace, including collective bargaining, discrimination, employee handbook policies, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and trade secret protection. Eric also serves as a volunteer mediator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact him at emeyer@dilworthlaw.com .
  • http://twitter.com/edsiusa EDSI

    I think the flour truck is my favorite. Also, how does one accidentally drink anti-freeze?

  • LT

    I had an employee call in one time because it was his cat’s birthday!

  • Molly Hanson

    I once had an employee tell me his cat unplugged his alarm clock!