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Study: Employers Think Recession Has Caused Fake Sick Days

Is the recession making workers sick? All signs point to yes — at least where attendance records are concerned. CareerBuilder’s annual survey on absenteeism says one-third of workers have skipped work when they were feeling fine at least once this year. Twenty-eight percent of employers think more employees are absent with fake excuses due to increased stress and burnout due to the recession.

The nationwide survey suggests many employees are using sick days for mental health days, but more than one in 10 workers who played hooky admitted to calling in sick because of something work-related. Reasons include wanting to miss a meeting, give themselves some more time to work on a project, or avoid a boss, colleague, or client. To see some of the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work,



  • I got sunburned at a nude beach and can’t wear clothes.
  • I woke up in Canada.
  • I got caught selling an alligator.
  • My buddies locked me in the trunk of an abandoned car after a weekend of drinking.
  • My mom said I was not allowed to go to work today.
  • A bee flew in my mouth.
  • I’m just not into it today.
  • I accidentally hit a nun with my motorcycle.
  • A random person threw poison ivy in my face and now I have a rash.
  • I’m convinced my spouse is having an affair and I’m staying home to catch them.
  • I was injured chasing a seagull.
  • I have a headache from eating hot peppers.

Have you ever made up a wacky excuse to get out of work this year?

Image Source: Getty
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cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
I loved my job which perhaps was why I would feel guilty calling in sick. That meant all my patients were being rescheduled...and I hated to do that to people. Still... if you are infectious the responsible thing to do was to stay at home. When I was a supervisor I had an employee who about twice a year had a parent or grandparent die...yearly for over 5 years. HR had kept up with it all and finally told me to ask for an address for the funeral so we could send flowers. It was sort of a "heads up" you have used up that excuse.
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
Hey...when you work at a medical facility or for a Dr....I have had them actually ask me to come in and be "seen" since I was too ill to come in. I rarely called in sick so it really ticked me off when this was asked of me. HR wrote up my boss for even asking it. In healthcare you'd think of all places they'd encourage you to stay home if you are ill...but nope. You better be dying.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
It seems to me that if you're suffering from job-related stress and burn-out, that is definitely not "feeling fine."
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I had a wedding to go to and my boss had scheduled me to work, so I called in with the excuse that my MIL was really sick and we had to go out of town to see her. I normally don't call in, though.
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
A random person did this or that....cracks me up.
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