Posts Tagged ‘employee social media use’

Most Bizarre Excuses for Calling in Sick Revealed in CareerBuilder Survey

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Whether it’s to take a quick vacation, lay in bed all day, or run errands around town, it appears more workers are calling in to take a sick day this year than last. A new survey of more than 2,300 HR managers and 3,300 employees, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Career Builder, has found that 38 percent of employees have called in sick when they actually feel well, up from last year’s 28 percent.

So what was the excuse as to why these employees couldn’t ‘make it into work’? Most of them run the gamut of normalcy, with 27 percent citing a doctor’s appointment as their reason, 21 percent saying they needed to catch up on sleep, and 12 percent blaming bad weather.

A few excuses, however, stand out among the rest.

When asked what the strangest excuse they had heard from employees calling in sick, managers listed the following unlikely tales:

  • Employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham
  • Employee was stuck under the bed
  • Employee said the universe was telling him to take the day off
  • Employee poked herself in the eye while combing her hair
  • Employee was going to the beach because her doctor said she needed more Vitamin D

These employees’ stories certainly raise a few eyebrows, including those of their managers. Of the managers polled in the study, 33 percent admitted to checking in to see if an employee was telling the truth after calling in sick. So how did they investigate these tall tales? By going online.

Social media leaves trails of bread crumbs that are quite easy to track, and it appears employers are making use of it to ensure their employees are being honest.

According to the survey, 33 percent of managers have caught their employees lying about being sick by checking their social media accounts. Of that share of managers, 26 percent fired the employee for their dishonesty.

Whether it’s finding a photo on Facebook of an employee lounging on the beach while he claimed to be at the doctor’s office getting medicine for a bad cold, or tracking down an employee’s Tweets about the rock music festival she attended the day she maintains to have had a pounding migraine, social media is making it easier than ever to ensure employees are making honest use of their sick days.

The study found that 22 percent of employers have fired an employee this year for calling in sick with a fake excuse, up from last year’s 18 percent.

While it is important to respect your employees’ privacy, it’s also imperative that employers can determine whether their employees are being honest with them. Managers shouldn’t be investigating their employees’ every move, but would ultimately be doing themselves and their business a disservice by letting some of these more bizarre excuses for skipping out on work slip out from under their radar.

To read more about the survey, click here. For any further questions about what steps your business can take to protect itself from possible employee dishonesty regarding sick days, please give our Advice and Resolution Team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Employee Social Media Use at Work – What Can (Or Should) You Do?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

While more than half of CIOs report completely restricting their employees from accessing social media sites during work hours, there has been at the same time a general rise in social media use at offices. Such an apparent contradiction can result in confusion and even anger at the workplace, particularly for new hires who could visit social media sites at a previous job but now encounter restricted or no availability at all for those sites at their new positions.

To add to the dilemma, how can an organization forbidding social media activity monitor employees who partake of them on their personal mobile devices? It is a growing concern among owners and operators of businesses in all sizes, and unfortunately, according to the latest word from the American Bar Association, it is still unclear legally how much control employers can exert over their employees.

Yet there are some basic measures you can take, if you feel uncomfortable about an outright social media ban yet do not want your employees to spend an excessive amount of time updating their status on Facebook, Twitter and the like. They include the following:

  1. Inform employees that the terms of your company’s equal employment opportunity, sexual harassment and other policies extend to social media use at work as well. They do not have a license to blog on whatever they feel like on your company time.
  2. Review with your employees the fact that commenting about legal matters or litigation involving your organization via social media is not allowed. The same rule applies to any work-related grievances.
  3. Encourage employees to ask questions and discuss issues with their supervisors regarding whether their social media activity may affect their workplace. This dialogue can help them realize the differences between their personal opinions and the positions taken by your organization, and why it is essential to separate them.
  4. Remind them that the Internet is permanent, even if they “remove/delete” the comment later or attempt to make it anonymous. They should know they can be held personally responsible for any content you post online. That warning alone may curtail them from extraneous social media activity.
  5. Employees should know they can be held legally liable for anything they write or present online. That includes, but is not limited to, commentary, content, or images judged defamatory, pornographic, proprietary, harassing, libelous, or creating a hostile work environment.

For more details on how you can establish social media use policies for your employees, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo Source: heyjudegallery