Most outrageous excuses employees have used when taking a sick day

Employee sick leave


Have you ever had one of those days when you could not decide what to wear, or your front door and windows are glued shut and you could not leave your home? Most of the time the majority of employees make use of sick days to recover from an illness, however some employees have come up with some memorable excuses to take a day off.

Recently, a survey was conducted online in the USA by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder and found that roughly 32% of employees who have have called in sick were not actually sick, while 30% of employees, despite being sick, have gone to work in order to save their sick days for when they are feeling well.

The national survey was conducted online and included a representative sample of 3,484 workers and 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals across numerous industries and company sizes.


Sick employees still work a home

With the age of technology and advances of the internet, you will find that even if employees take a sick day does not necessarily mean that they are actually taking the day off to recover from their illness. From the employees that were interviewed, 20% stated that they even though they took a sick they still ended up working from home though out the day.


Holiday season blues

Change in the weather conditions and holiday stress can have a huge effect on the absentee rates. 30% of employers stated that during the holiday season they noticed an increase in the number of sick days taken by their employees. 19% of employers stated that the worst month of the was December followed by January and February.


Employer police patrol

30% of employers verify and have undertaken to check-in on employees who have called in sick to make certain that the employees are staying honest and that their excuses are legitimate. From those employers who verified their employee sick days, 64% demanded doctors notes, 48% took the time to call employs, 19% monitored the employees social media posts, 17% asked a fellow employee to call the sick employee, and 15% took the time to physically drive-by the employees residence to double-check that the sick employee was honestly sick.

Employers sick day leave policies might differ from company to company and while some employers are more flexible that others when it comes to employee sick days, 16% of the employers surveyed said that they have fired employees for using fake and false sick day excuses.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Apart form an employees actually being sick and suffering from some sort of illness, the most common reason employs take a sick is because they just don’t feel like going to work (33%), or they just felt they need to relax (28%). Other employees spend their sick days visiting doctors (24%), catching up on sleep (19%), or simply just running personal errands (14%).


Employers have heard it all

Employers were asked to share the most elaborate and most memorable excuses for employees taking sick days that have come across their desks, here are  few:

· Employee’s false teeth flew out the window while driving down the highway
· Employee’s favorite football team lost on Sunday so needed Monday to recover
· Employee was quitting smoking and was grouchy
· Employee said that someone glued her doors and windows shut so she couldn’t leave the house to come to work
· Employee bit her tongue and couldn’t talk
· Employee claimed a swarm of bees surrounded his vehicle and he couldn’t make it in
· Employee said the chemical in turkey made him fall asleep and he missed his shift
· Employee felt like he was so angry he was going to hurt someone if he came in
· Employee received a threatening phone call from the electric company and needed to report it to the FBI
· Employee needed to finish Christmas shopping
· Employee’s fake eye was falling out of its socket
· Employee got lost and ended up in another state
· Employee couldn’t decide what to wear

What has been your most elaborate excuse to take a day off? Don’t worry, we will not reveal your name and identity.



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