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U.S. survey finds a third of employees who call in sick are not

Oct. 24, 2013 at 12:01 AM   |   Comments

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CHICAGO, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- When an employee at a U.S. company calls in sick, sending a get-well-soon card may not be the right response, a recent survey indicated.

The annual online survey, conducted between Aug. 13 and Sept. 6 by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder, indicated that 32 percent of 3,484 respondents said they had called in sick when they were not..

CareerBuilder said the percentage of employees admitting to taking a phony sick day this year was up 2 percentage points from the 2012 survey.

The sick-day scenario includes some advanced planning, the survey found

Thirty percent of employees indicated they had gone to work while they were sick so they could save a sick day and abuse the privilege later on by calling in sick when they were well.

The survey found that 30 percent of employers indicated they have checked on employees who have called in sick. Of those, 64 percent indicated they required a note from a doctor, 48 percent said they called the employee and 19 percent indicated they had checked a social media website for evidence the worker was malingering.

CareerBuilder said 33 of the respondents said "just don't feel like going to work" was the top reason they called in sick when they weren't. Twenty-eight percent indicated that they "needed to relax." Almost one in four -- 24 percent -- indicated they spent their sick day going to see a doctor while almost one in five -- 19 percent -- said they caught up on sleep during a phony sick day. Fourteen percent indicated they had run errands during a sick day.

The people surveyed included 2,099 human resources professionals and 3,484 employees. The results of the study include a margin of error of plus and minus up to 2.14 percentage points, Harris Interactive said.

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