One-third of U.S. workers fake being sick: Survey

But 31 per cent of employers follow up when a worker calls in sick

One-third of workers in the United States have played hooky from the office at least once this year, according to an annual survey on absenteeism.

Online job search firm's survey of more than 6,800 workers and 3,300 employers found 33 per cent of workers have called in sick when they were in fact healthy this year.

Employers are savvy to the office Ferris Bueller, with 31 per cent of them saying they have checked up on an employee who called in sick. Nearly one-fifth (18 per cent) have fired a worker for missing work without a legitimate excuse.

The most common excuse for faking sick was that the worker just didn't feel like going to work that day (34 per cent), followed by needing to relax and recharge (30 per cent), a doctor's appointment (27 per cent), catching up on sleep (22 per cent), personal errands (14 per cent), housework (11 per cent) and spending time with family and friends (11 per cent).

About nine per cent of workers who played hooky admitted to calling in sick because they wanted to miss a meeting, buy some time to work on a project that was already due or avoid the wrath of a boss or colleague.

Of the 31 per cent of employers who checked up on an employee who called in sick, 71 per cent said they required the employee to show them a doctor's note. Fifty-six per cent called the employee at home, 18 per cent had another worker call the employee, and 17 per cent drove by the employee's house or apartment.

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