Sick Day Season on the Way to Facilities

Oct. 20, 2011
Cold and flu season is here, and with it comes sick days and potential losses in productivity from your building or facility. 

Cold and flu season is here, and with it comes sick days and potential losses in productivity from your building or facility.  CareerBuilder has released a survey with some interesting statistics regarding employees and their sick time.   The nationwide study was conducted by Harris Interactive from August 16 to September 8, 2011 and included more than 2,600 employers and 4,300 workers.  

The most frequent time for employee absenteeism?  The first quarter.  Top times for absence are as follows:

January through March – 34%

April through June – 13%

July through September – 30%

October through December – 23%

Methods of calling in sick are changing as well, with the standard phone call now being used 84% of the time –  email 24% and texting 11%.

Some methods you may or may not employ with your staff for determining the validity of your employee sick time are being used by 28% of employers.  This group of employers that checks up on workers utilize these methods –

69% required a doctor's note

52% called the employee

19% had another employee call the employee

16% drove by the employee's home

Included in the survey is a listing of the most unusual excuses used by employees for sick days.  Have your employees ever tried one of these?

Employee's 12-year-old daughter stole his car and he had no other way to work.  Employee didn't want to report it to the police.

Employee said bats got in her hair.

Employee said a refrigerator fell on him

Employee was in line at a coffee shop when a truck carrying flour backed up and dumped the flour into her convertible.

Employee said a deer bit him during hunting season.

Employee ate too much at a party.

Employee fell out of bed and broke his nose.

Employee got a cold from a puppy.

Employee's child stuck a mint up his nose and had to go to the ER to remove it.

Employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.

Employee got his toe caught in a vent cover.

Employee had a headache after going to too many garage sales.

Employee's brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel while in Mexico. 

Employee drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.

Employee was at a bowling alley and a bucket filled with water crashed through the ceiling and hit her on the head.

"While outrageous events are known to happen, frequent absences and over-the-top excuses can start to bring your credibility into question," says Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.  "Many employers are more flexible in their definition of a sick day and will allow employees to use them to recharge and take care of personal needs.  This is especially evident post-recession when employees have taken on added responsibilities and are working longer days.  Your best bet is to be up front with your manager."

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