Commentary

Employers Catching Employees Playing Hooky on Social Media

While I’m sure that none of you, dear readers, would ever absent yourself from work for a less than perfectly valid, indeed urgent reason, here’s a piece of advice should you ever consider doing so: don’t post photos of yourself sipping mimosas cross town when you’re supposed to be sick in bed with the flu, because your boss may very well see them and realize that you’re actually a lying, untrustworthy slacker.

That’s according to CareerBuilder, which surveyed 3,103 workers and 2,203 hiring managers and human resources professionals and found that 31% check up on their absent employees to see if they’re telling the truth, and almost one in four employers 24% have caught an employee lying about being sick by checking social media.

Within that group, 22% (5% of the total) then went on to fire the employee, if not for lying then presumably for just being so incredibly stupid. Happily 54% of bosses who caught liars on social media were satisfied with issuing a reprimand, no doubt resulting in any number of extremely awkward visits to the corner office.

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Overall 28% of employees polled said they had called in sick when they were actually well in the last year, with 30% of these saying they just didn’t feel like going to work, 29% saying they wanted the day to relax, and 19% saying they wanted to catch up on sleep -- which all sounds like basically the same reason to me. Another 11% cited bad weather as a reason to stay home (following this year’s winter, that’s actually a pretty valid excuse).

CareerBuilder also compiled a list of the most absurd excuses bosses received for workers being absent. These included tweaking a recent plastic surgery that wasn’t quite right; breaking an ankle after falling asleep on the toilet; being in a casino on a winning streak; not knowing his whereabouts following a one night stand; getting stuck in the blood pressure machine at the store; and accidentally getting on a plane.

And now your boss asked me to deliver this message: “Back to work you!”

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