Think That an Employee Might Be Faking Sick? Check on Social Media

Photo by Dreamstime
Photo by Dreamstime

By Eric B. Meyer

It’s that time of year again — open enrollment, flu shots, and CareerBuilder.com’s annual list of the most creative excuses for missing work.

But before I get to that, how about some missed-work statistics based on responses from 2,203 hiring managers and human resource professionals, and 3,103 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government), from a survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from ­­Aug. 11 to Sept. 5, 2014:

  • 28 percent of employees have called in to work sick when they were actually feeling well;
  • 59 percent of those fakers either didn’t feel like going to work or just wanted to relax;
  • 24 percent of employers have caught some one faking sick by using social media;
  • 22 percent of those fakers who were found out on social were fired.

Top 10 excuses for missing work

There’s also this to consider: While half (49 percent) of employees say they have a Paid Time Off program that allows them to use their time off however they choose, 23 percent of those workers say they still feel obligated to make up an excuse for taking a day off.

So with that, here are CareerBuilder’s Top 10 annual excuses for missing work:

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  1. Employee just put a casserole in the oven.
  2. Employee’s plastic surgery for enhancement purposes needed some “tweaking” to get it just right.
  3. Employee was sitting in the bathroom and her feet and legs fell asleep. When she stood, up she fell and broke her ankle.
  4. Employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
  5. Employee woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.
  6. Employee had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where he was.
  7. Employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.
  8. Employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.
  9. Employee caught their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
  10. Employee accidentally got on a plane.

As always when I post this list, I love to hear back from you about the most cray-cray excuses your employees have offered for missing work.

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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