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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Your Health

Study: More Workers 'Sicking it' Than Ever

Study shows sick-day faking is on the rise.

With the end of the year fast approaching, shoppers are scrambling to get those last minute gifts, travel plans for New Years are being finalized-- and workers are working hard to use up those last few sick days before they expire.

Employees calling in sick when they really aren't is on the rise, according to the Workforce Institute at Kronos, a human resources policy group that tracks, among other things, employee time off.

(Photo courtesy AP)
(Photo courtesy AP)

From 2006 to 2010 the institute found an 18 percent rise in workers admitting to taking sick time to have a day off when they really weren't sick.

Another company found a similar shocker: two-thirds of U.S. employees who called in sick at the last second really weren't, according to a survey by CCH, a human resources consultant group.

Experts say the reason for this increasing trend is that workers aren't getting the days off they need to deal with personal things like sick children or aging loved ones. The economy has only made that balancing act even harder, with fewer employees working, the remaining few are stretched thin-- with Mondays and Fridays and time around holidays being some of the worst days for 'faking it.'

Flu and hay fever seasons are also common times for sickness faking.

To bring about a change of honesty and health to the workplace, experts are calling for companies to be open to 'flex time' and introduce options for trading shifts or telecommuting.

Experts hope these few small changes in the office can help workers focus less on their next sick-day excuse to their boss--- and open up for more time for some Cyber Monday shopping at their desk.

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