The 5 craziest sick day excuses of 2014

On this blog we've just discussed flu vaccines, which can be helpful in reducing employee sick time. A new survey from CareerBuilder gives a breakdown of how that time has been used and excused in 2014, by employees who faked sick days. The site polled 3,103 workers and 2,203 managers and human resource professionals to get to the bottom of playing hooky.

This year, a smaller margin of employees copped to fibbing about the flu: 28 percent compared to 32 percent last year.

One could credit that to an improving economy, employer crackdowns or newfound morality among the truant employees of 2013, though the situation has improved nonetheless. The leading reasons workers gave for feigning illness were that they needed a day to relax (28 percent) and yet more novel, that they didn't feel like going to work (30 percent). 21 percent had a routine, but not pressing medical appointment to make and 19 percent said they wanted to catch up on sleep. 

Some workers whose benefit package allows them paid time off felt compelled to invent stories about why they missed work, according to the study. Here are some of the excuses managers reported hearing from employees, via CareerBuilder:

  • Employee just put a casserole in the oven.
  • Employee's plastic surgery for enhancement purposes needed some "tweaking" to get it just right.
  • Employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
  • Employee woke up in a good mood and didn't want to ruin it.
  • Employee accidentally got on a plane.

If we learned anything from Watergate, "It's not the crime [that catches you], it's the cover-up." Providing employees with open lines of communication and fair PTO compensation can prevent you from ever having one of those regrettable conversations.