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