The 9 most ridiculous excuses people have used to call in sick in 2017

  • Within the last 12 months, 40% of employees surveyed by CareerBuilder said they lied to take a sick day from work, and 23% of them said that they just didn’t feel like going into the office that day.
  • Members of HR are often sceptical of absurd excuses and can often tell when an employee is lying, some going as far as firing employees for the offence.
  • This year, people’s excuses for skipping work included because they didn’t have clothes that fit them or gas in the car.

On August 21, much of the country stopped what they were doing to watch the total solar eclipse.

At least one person that day gave a very flimsy excuse to take the day off and watch it – or he just forgot science class and had real fears.

“Hey, boss. I’m not sure how this solar eclipse will affect me, so I think it would be safer if I just stayed home from work today,” is one of the most dubious excuses for calling in sick that an employer reported hearing this year.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 40% of employees called in sick over the last year when they were fine and healthy.

Harris Poll conducted the online survey with 2,257 hiring professionals and 3,697 workers as a sample.

Some sick days are expected, said Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder chief human resources officer.

“Life is busy – and occasionally taking time off is necessary in order to show up to work mentally and physically prepared to have a positive impact on productivity,” she said.

But Haefner stressed being honest when calling out sick. She said “outlandish excuses for calling off work can raise red flags and can lead to trust issues, so avoid them at all costs.”

The data backs up Haefner’s suggestion that lying can cause problems for employees. The survey also found that 38% of employers have checked up on a worker who called in sick, 43% of employers say they caught an employee in a lie through an online post, and 26% have fired someone for a fake excuse.

The survey asked hiring managers and HR professionals to share the most suspicious excuses employees have given for needing to miss a day of work. Here are the 9 most ridiculous excuses they shared:

An employee said he left his clothes at the laundry mat

Jamie McDonald/Getty

An employee said a bear was in their yard and they were afraid to come out

An employee said he ate a toothpick in his food at a restaurant

An employee said their uniform didn’t fit, so they called in ‘fat’

Sean Gallup/Getty

An employee said their phone exploded and it hurt their hand

An employee said her dog swallowed the car keys so she was waiting until it came out

Matt Cardy/Getty

An employee said he broke his arm wrestling a female bodybuilder

An employee said they had to reschedule a new manicure because some of their artificial nails fell off

Jennifer Graylock/Getty

An employee said they did not have enough gas to get to work

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