Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis has a Coronavirus Response Team. Contact Jon Hyman to help with how your business should
continue to respond to this national emergency.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Do you check on your employees’ absences?

According to a recent survey conducted by, 32% of employees report that they played hooky from work at least one day last year when they were not ill. In those one-third of employees, the following reasons were cited:

  • Because they just didn’t feel like going to work that day (32%)
  • Doctors appointments (31%)
  • Relaxation (28%)
  • To catch up on sleep (16%)
  • Personal errands (13%)
  • Something work-related, such as missing a meeting or needing more time to complete a project (12%)
  • Housework (10%)
  • To spend time with family and friends (10%)

When asked for the most bizarre excuses given by employees for missing work, employers listed the following:

  • I got sunburned at a nude beach and can’t wear clothes.
  • I woke up in Canada.
  • I got caught selling an alligator.
  • My buddies locked me in the trunk of an abandoned car after a weekend of drinking.
  • I accidentally hit a nun with my motorcycle.

Despite all this data, only 29% of employers reported that they checked up on an absent employee, and only 15% said they have fired a worker for missing work without a legitimate excuse.

To my readers: Do you check on absent employees? Do you discipline or terminate employees for illegitimate absences? Or, do you think that employees are entitled to a certain number of mental health or personal days each year?

The logical answer to all of these issues – paid time off, instead of sick days.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or