Excuses For Missing Work: “The Universe Told Me to Take a Day Off”

By Eric B. Meyer

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, we’re fast approaching that time of year when employees call out sick the most.

According to their annual survey, most employees stay home when sickness strikes hardest: December (20 percent), January (15 percent) and February (14 percent).

But, how often are employees who call out sick actually under the weather?

The survey indicates that 38 percent of employees have called in sick when they’re actually OK — that is, when they aren’t actually sick at all. That’s up from 28 percent who faked being sick in 2014.

What the explanation for the spike? Maybe it’s Netflix (as the survey jokingly intimates). Maybe it’s to binge-read this blog. Or maybe, employees are getting more creative with the sick-day excuses.

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This year’s best  “bad” excuses

Here are the best bad excuses from the survey:

  • Employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham.
  • Employee was stuck under the bed.
  • Employee broke his arm reaching to grab a falling sandwich.
  • Employee said the universe was telling him to take a day off.
  • Employee’s wife found out he was cheating. He had to spend the day retrieving his belongings from the dumpster.
  • Employee poked herself in the eye while combing her hair.
  • Employee said his wife put all his underwear in the washer.
  • Employee said the meal he cooked for a department pot luck didn’t turn out well.
  • Employee was going to the beach because the doctor said she needed more vitamin D.
  • Employee said her cat was stuck inside the dashboard of her car.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Aug. 12 to Sept. 2, 2015, and included a representative sample of 3,321 full-time workers and 2,326 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

What’s the best sick day excuse that one of your employees has offered to you? Email me. Or let me know in the comments down below.

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

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (www.TheEmployerHandbook.com), which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.

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