HR Strange But True!
November 08, 2007

Employees call in sick all the time, and you probably think you have heard every conceivable excuse for needing to use a sick day. Wait until you read some of the unusual excuses that employers cited in a recent survey. recently asked employers to identify some of the most unusual excuses employees have used when saying they need to use sick leave.

Here are some of best, no, worst of the bunch.

  • Employee said he was crabby
  • Employee got whiplash from brushing her hair
  • Employee said her psychic told her to stay home or something awful would happen to her
  • Employee said he wasn't feeling well and wanted to rest up for the company's holiday party that night
  • Employee said her chickens' feet were frozen to the driveway
  • At her sister's wedding, the employee chipped her tooth on a Mint Julep, bent over to spit it out, hit her head on a keg and was knocked unconscious with a mild concussion
  • Employee claimed to have met a movie star and was spending the day with him
  • Employee was injured while getting a haircut
  • Employee tasted some dog food because the dog was not feeling well and now the employee is sick
  • Employee's roommate locked all his clothes in a shed for spite
  • A groundhog bit the employee's car tire, causing it to go flat
  • Employee had been up all night because their favorite "American Idol" contestant was voted off

The survey found that 32 percent of workers said they have called in sick when they were well at least once in the last year.

These fakers should know that 35 percent of employers have checked up on an employee who called in sick, and 16 percent have fired a worker for missing work without a legitimate excuse, according to the survey.

Maybe all of the unusual excuses were the true reasons an employee needed to stay home, but do they really want to be telling their employers the truth under those circumstances?

Seventy-five percent of employers said they typically believe excuses given by employees.

The survey also found that 27 percent of workers said they consider their sick days to be equivalent to vacation days

The survey included 2,929 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 5,989 U.S. employees.

Source: press release

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