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CareerBuilder releases list of unbelievable excuses for taking sick leave

Call In Sick ImageWith the help of a Harris poll, CareerBuilder.com has released this year’s list of “The Most Unbelievable Excuses for Calling in Sick.” The job-search site has been compiling the best and craziest excuses from U.S. workers for the past decade. Would you tell your boss that you couldn’t make it to the office because you “woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it”? Would your supervisor believe you if you said you “got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store”? While 28 percent of employees took sick leave over the past 12 months, even if they were feeling fine, more than half of U.S. employees do not have programs in their workplace for paid time off, for either personal or sick days. (It’s not federal law that employers must provide paid sick days for employees.) Of those who do accrue paid time off, 23 percent of them still feel like they need to make up an excuse for taking a day off, and that’s where those ridiculous excuses come into play. (How do you “accidentally get on a plane”?!) While the excuses are funny — you should check out the full list — be cautious when making up excuses to call in sick at your own job. According to the report, eighteen percent of employers have fired employees who made up fake excuses, and many will literally check up on you, by requesting a doctor’s note, checking your Facebook or Twitter feeds, or even driving by your home to make sure you aren’t faking an illness in order to do other things. (The most common reasons to take leave, besides actually being ill, are to spend time with friends or family, to go to scheduled doctors’ appointments, or simply not feeling like going to work.) Some cities and states have begun implementing their own leave policies in order to provide employees with adequate sick leave or personal days, and some companies have taken their leave policies a little further, and have actually implemented policies in which there is no limit to the amount of paid days off an employee can take. Virgin Airlines, taking a cue from Netflix, recently implemented a “policy-that-isn’t” in which full-time office staff are allowed to take “unlimited leave,” where salaried employees make take “whenever they want for as long as they want,” without having to ask for permission, so long as they are up-to-date on their work and the absence won’t adversely affect the company. Employment experts are not convinced this is the best solution for the country’s lack of paid time off, as they worry that employees without any kind of guidelines will still feel they need to work. “Some roles will always have work to do so they feel like they can’t take this leave,” said Kathryn Dent, the director of People + Culture Strategies, a workplace law consulting company. “Many people may feel too nervous to go on leave, and it will come down to a matter of trust between the employee and employer.” Bottom line: Honesty is the best policy. If you lie about something as innocuous as a sick day, your boss may question what else you’re willing to lie about. And if you really need a legitimate excuse, saying that you’re not feeling well still works just fine. photo credit: anna gutermuth via photopin cc]]>

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