In the past year, jobs site CareerBuilder says, nearly a third of American workers have called in sick to work even when they felt fine. But playing hooky can have serious consequences.
Twenty-nine percent of employers told CareerBuilder they had checked up on employees who claimed to be sick, and 16 percent reported that they have fired an employee for calling in sick without actually being ill.
Why are employers being so strict? It may have something to do with the tight labor market. With companies still reluctant to hire because of the uncertain economic picture, employees are being called upon to do more work – and skipping a workday without a valid reason puts more pressure on the people who do show up.
CareerBuilder's experts suggest that workers be upfront with their boss if they need a personal day. "If you need to take some time away from the office," CareerBuilder vice president Rosemary Haefner says, "the best way not to cause yourself more stress is to be open and honest with your manager."