(NBC News) — Thirty-eight percent of employees called in sick despite having a clean bill of health in the past year, up from 28 percent the previous year, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.
In fact, the number of employees playing hooky is at its highest since 2005, when it hit 43 percent, said Jennifer Grasz, vice president of corporate communications at CareerBuilder. “This could indicate people are feeling more (secure) with their jobs,” she said.
The study found that one in three employers have checked to see whether their employees are in fact ill after taking a sick day.
This could be costly for employees, Grasz said. “If you end up getting caught, it could cost you your job, and even if it doesn’t … it could lead to your manager overlooking you for a promotion in the future,” she said.
One way employers and managers are checking in on employees is through social media.
Thirty-three percent of all employers have caught an employee lying about being sick by checking their social media accounts, and of those, 26 percent have fired the employee, according to the survey, which interviewed 3,321 full-time workers and 2,326 hiring managers across industries and company sizes.
Sorry, I Can’t Make it in…
When asked to share the most memorable excuses for workplace absences they’ve heard, employers reported the following real-life examples:
Employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham.
Employee was stuck under the bed.
Employee broke his arm reaching to grab a falling sandwich.
Employee said the universe was telling him to take a day off.
Employee’s wife found out he was cheating. He had to spend the day retrieving his belongings from the dumpster.
Employee poked herself in the eye while combing her hair.
Employee said his wife put all his underwear in the washer.
Employee said the meal he cooked for a department potluck didn’t turn out well.
Employee was going to the beach because the doctor said she needed more vitamin D.
Employee said her cat was stuck inside the dashboard of her car.
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