National Sick Day Has Employees Calling In For No Good Reason

If you're reading this from your desk at work today, give yourself a high five! If you're still in your PJ's relaxed and cozy at home, you're not alone. Turns out the first Monday in February is the most popular day for employees to call in sick. Blame the dreary winter weather, lingering unpaid holiday credit card bills and a yearning for a day off before the next holiday hits in mid-February.

According to the "Sickness Absence Survey 2010" conducted by workplace management firm Kronos, at least 20% of employees have called in sick even if they really weren't. The most popular days to do it? Friday and Monday are overwhelmingly the most popular, probably for their instant three-day weekend appeal, while Tuesday seems to be the least likely day for a spontaneous holiday from the grind.

Chances are, you feel guilty making that white lie of a call, but the feeling doesn't necessarily last long. The survey found many of us justify the time off with a variety of reasons. These include feeling stressed and needing a day off (57%), not having any more paid time off (22%) and too much work looming at the office (17%). Sometimes the reasons are more family oriented, such as looking after a sick child (9%), but being afraid of asking for the time off (9%) and just wanting a day at the beach (9%) are also cited as top reasons for making that call.

So now that you've got your excuse and phone call out of the way, the question is, how to spend this impromptu time off? The majority of us must be harboring some lingering guilt, since 39% spend phony sick days in bed! After that, quality time with family and friends is a close second (35%) while spending the day vegging out in front of the TV is third (26%). Other activities cited in the survey include shopping, vacations and sporting events.

While the Kronos survey offers some interesting insight into the mind of the fake sick call - the survey was really conducted with employers in mind. Turns out sick days can affect the morale of the entire office staff if they have to pick up the slack left behind by colleagues playing office hookie. The solution could be in a more flexible work week - allowing employees to leave early on Fridays and make up the time during the rest of the week. Sounds like a decent plan...but do you have a better suggestion? Have you called in sick for no good reason? Is there a way your employer could implement a better program for short-notice time off than calling in sick? Sound off in the comments!

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Laurie Horton-Ilagan

This was interesting.

February 19 2011 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really, what's with the people who post all of the bullcrap, about health insurance, needing to get a love life, looking for the right girl, work at home? Maybe they all needed to call in sick today and keet off of the computer.

February 01 2010 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

reason I wasn't at work today?? I was scheduled off, besides most everything is closed recouping for the weekend showstorm.

February 01 2010 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Feb 1 is "sick" day because federal government regs require that ALL tax information be in the hands of tax payers by Jan 31. When we get all that crap, and look at the "latest, newest, best" tax changes that will "save" us money, it takes a few days to get over the shock.

February 01 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd have to have a job to call-in sick.

February 01 2010 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paris's comment


February 01 2010 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

no good reason? how about mental health day? i guess if you worked for the airlines, and guys like frank lorenzo, you'd take as much time off as possible. i did, & used ALL of my sick time. fortunately, i nevcer got sick as a 2nd or 1st officer... i was going for the gold & all my sick time was as captain. now i just let them pay me while i'm at home.... easier for them and me. another 5 years

February 01 2010 at 3:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These postings are irrelevant to the article! The article was about calling in sick for not being sick! Next time, folks, read the article!

February 01 2010 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Pauline's comment

It wouldn't matter WHAT the subject matter of the article was! These people are scammers, pure and simple-"pure" they are not, but they sure are simple-simple minded that is! Take a moment to "report" them...someday aol will do their job, hire someone who's sole purpose is to watch the blogs and immediately do something about these morons, and NOT simply removing the posts!

February 01 2010 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A previous boss (genius!) that got tired of people not using their paid time off for the specified purposes, just said "Ok, you get 120 hours of paid time off at the beginning of each year. I don't care why you take it, it's paid time off no matter what. Once those 120 hours are used up, you can make it up on weekends or get a $ amount deducted based on your salary. If you don't use them up by the end of the year, you get a $ amount paid to you based on your salary." I LOVED it! He was a Genius!

February 01 2010 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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