Oct. 24, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- Have you ever had one of those days where your false teeth fly out the window on the highway, your doors and windows are all glued shut, or a swarm of bees keeps you from getting in your car? While most employees use sick days to recover from an illness, some employers have heard much more memorable excuses.
In the past year, nearly one third (32 percent) of workers have called in sick when not actually ill, up slightly from last year (30 percent). On the flip side, 30 percent of employees say they've gone to work despite actually being sick in order to save their sick days for when they're feeling well.
The national survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive
August 13 to September 6, 2013
, and included a representative sample of 3,484 workers and 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.
The Show Must Go On
Thanks to technological advances, taking a sick day no longer always means taking a day off. Twenty percent of workers say in the past year they called in sick but still ended up doing work from home throughout the day.
Cold weather and holiday stress can take a toll on absentee rates. Three-in-ten (30 percent) employers say they notice an increased number of sick days among their employees around the holidays. Nineteen percent of employers say that December is the time of year that employees call in sick the most, followed by January (16 percent) and February (15 percent).
Thirty percent of employers say that they have checked up on employees who have called in sick to make sure the excuse was legitimate. Of those who verified employees' excuses over the past year, 64 percent required a doctor's note, 48 percent called the employee, 19 percent checked the employee's social media posts, 17 percent had another employee call the sick employee, and 15 percent drove past the employee's house.
While some employers may be flexible with how employees use their sick days, 16 percent say they've fired employees for calling in sick with a fake excuse.