Study reveals workers’ ridiculous excuses when calling in sick

Wikimedia Commons photo credit Tomasz Sienicki

(WFLA) — Ever call in sick to work when you’re not sick at all? If so, you’re not alone. The results of a new study from CareerBuilder found that a greater percentage of people are calling in sick when they’re actually feeling fine.

The study found that 38 percent of employees have called in to work sick over the past year when they were not really sick. That’s an increase from last year when 28 percent of healthy employees called in sick.

RELATED: The Highest Paying Jobs in America

The results of the study might also have you reconsidering faking an illness. One in three employers who participated in the study say they have checked to see if an employee was telling the truth after calling in sick. That’s an increase over last year when 31 percent reported they checked up on employees. 67 percent of employers say they asked to see a doctor’s note. 49 percent say they called the employee and 32 percent say they checked a worker’s social media posts to see if they were telling the truth.

Of those employers who checked a worker’s social media posts, 33 percent said they have caught an employee lying about being sick, 26 percent fired the employee. Overall, more than one in five employers — 22 percent– reported firing an employee for calling in sick with a fake excuse. The 22 percent firing rate is an increase from last year’s rate of 18 percent.

You might be amazed at some of the excuses people gave when they called in sick. Here are some of the most memorable excuses reported by employers-

  • 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.

The survey found that December is the most popular month for employees to call in sick, followed by January and February.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from August 12 to September 2, 2015, and included a representative sample of 3,321 full-time workers and 2,326 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

6 thoughts on “Study reveals workers’ ridiculous excuses when calling in sick

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s