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Almost half of workers in survey admitted to playing hooky

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By Mitch Smith
Chicago Tribune
Published:
Kids are notorious for faking fevers to stay home from school. A new study suggests their parents aren't much better.
Nearly half of the workers surveyed admitted to calling in sick when they weren't. Adecco Group North America, the temporary staffing company that commissioned the survey, didn't say how many of those employees faked a cough and used a raspy voice when they phoned their boss.
Perhaps bored with pretending to have the flu, some hooky-playing workers get creative. Slightly more than a quarter of employees say they have gained vacation time by fudging on bereavement days. A similar number admit to doing the same by claiming to have jury duty.
Only 42 percent of the 522 full-time workers surveyed said they never lie to get extra vacation time.
But don't presume the worst if you're looking at a sea of barren cubicles in your office this week. When the data were collected in late November, three-quarters of workers said they still had vacation time available in 2012.
While there seems to be an epidemic of workers claiming false sick time, colleagues are harsher than they should be. Seventy-two percent of employees think their co-workers use sick days when they're not ill, though only 47 percent admit to pretending to be sick.
Men are especially fond of falsely claiming time off for bereavement or jury duty. Thirty-four percent of men (and 18 percent of women) said they have used a departed loved one as an excuse for extra vacation. Forty percent of men and 11 percent of women have abused time off for jury duty.
And if you've conveniently been plagued with a "sore throat" this week, you might find more sympathy from a male supervisor. Men are more than twice as likely as women to say three or more weeks of sick time in one year is reasonable.

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