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Faking sick days can get you fired

Posted by on Nov 6, 2011 in HR Issues, Moneyville | 0 comments

By Sheryl Smolkin

Read this article and comments at Moneyville.ca 

With good jobs at a premium, you’d think employees would be smart enough to show up and put in a good day’s work, unless they are really sick. But a new CareerBuilder Survey reports that nearly three in ten U.S. workers called in sick with a fake excuse in the last year.

When it came to notifying employers that they are taking a sick day, 35 per cent didn’t even take the trouble to fake a cough or a stuffy nose when they called in, instead relying on either an email or a text message.

And some of the excuses employees gave for missing work boggle the mind. A few of my favourites are:

•    Employee said bats got in her hair.
•    Employee got a cold from a puppy.
•    Employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.
•    Employee’s brother was kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel.
•    Employee drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.

This is in spite of the fact that calling in sick without a legitimate excuse can have serious consequences. Fifteen per cent of employers said they have fired a worker for this reason and 28 per cent have checked up on employees by requiring a doctor’s note, calling the employee, having another employee call the absent employee or driving by the employee’s home.

If you have run out of vacation and personal days and an urgent personal matter comes up, your best bet is to be up front with your manager. Some employers are more flexible and allow employees to take sick days or work at home if a family member is ill. You may also be able to work extra hours another day to make up the time, or arrange a day off without pay.

But calling in sick just because you think you deserve a mental health day is never a good idea. If you lose your job, you will end up with way too much time on your hands. And even the most creative excuses won’t pay the mortgage or put food on the table.


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