A CareerBuilder survey conducted Nov. 6 to Dec. 2, 2013, found 48 percent of employers indicated they are intolerant of tardiness. Another 34 percent indicated lateness is allowed if it doesn't become a habit.
The remaining 18 percent indicated getting the work done on time was what mattered, not adhering to a company time clock.
On the other hand, cross the line and it could mean a quick exit. More than one in three -- 35 percent -- indicated they have fired workers for tardiness, the survey that included responses from 3,008 employees and 2,201 hiring managers found.
The employee-focused side of the survey found 23 percent of employees indicated they were late for work once a month, while 15 percent conceded they were late once a week.
When an excuse was required, the study revealed truth was sometimes stranger than fiction.
One employee was late, the story goes, because his cat was stuck in a toilet. Another thought Halloween was a vacation day.
Another forgot the company had moved, CareerBuilder said.
The results of the survey conducted by Harris Poll have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.09 percentage points.