The 14 Weirdest Excuses for Calling in Sick in 2016

Photo by Heather Goodell / Shutterstock.com

What do a police raid, a sick llama and eating too much birthday cake have in common?

They’re all excuses employees have given bosses when “calling in sick,” according to CareerBuilder’s latest annual survey about the topic.

More than 3,100 full-time workers and more than 2,500 full-time hiring and human resource managers across multiple industries were polled for the nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll.

The number of workers who said they have called in sick despite not actually being ill is down slightly since last year, having fallen from 38 percent to 35 percent this year.

The most common reasons that survey respondents dishonestly called in sick included:

  • 28 percent just didn’t feel like going in to work.
  • 27 percent took the day off for a doctor’s appointment.
  • 24 percent needed to just relax.
  • 18 percent needed to catch up on sleep.
  • 11 percent took the day off to run a personal errand.

As for the excuses that workers gave their bosses when calling in sick despite feeling fine, employers said the craziest excuses they’ve heard this year include:

  1. Ozone in the air flattened employee’s tires.
  2. Pressure cooker exploded and scared employee’s sister
  3. Employee had to attend the funeral of his wife’s cousin’s pet because he was an uncle and pallbearer.
  4. Police raid blocked employee inside home.
  5. Employee had to testify against a drug dealer, and the dealer’s friend mugged the worker.
  6. Roots were showing in employee’s hair and she had to keep her hair appointment because she looked like a mess.
  7. Employee ate cat food instead of tuna and was deathly ill.
  8. Llama’s illness kept employee at home.
  9. Chemical burns injured employee after she used hair remover under her arms. As a result, she couldn’t put her arms down by her sides.
  10. Employee was bowling the game of his life and couldn’t make it to work.
  11. A large spider entered the employee’s home, causing traumatic stress.
  12. Employee said he had better things to do.
  13. Too much birthday cake left employee ill.
  14. A duck bit the employee.

While most employers give employees the benefit of the doubt, 33 percent said they have checked to see if an employee was telling the truth, such as by asking to see a doctor’s note. Additionally, 22 percent said they’ve fired an employee for calling in sick with a phony excuse, which is consistent with last year’s survey findings.

Have you ever made up an excuse for calling in sick? Let us know below or on Facebook.

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