There is now a thriving industry nicknamed Sick Day Bounty Hunters. They are hired detectives who check on employees who may be abusing their sick day privileges. See the full article at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_50/b4207093635068.htm .The article claims a significant growth in the number of people who fraudulently claim sick days when they are actually doing something else.
When I started in the corporate workplace in 1970 there was generally a strong loyalty to the companies we worked for. In fact many people would come into work when they were sick because they wanted to get the work done. What happened to reverse this trend to such a degree? From my perspective something happened in the early 1980’s that caused companies to seriously withdraw their concerns for their workers. When the company started treating their employees as liabilities instead of assets the employees reciprocated by ceasing to feeling much of a loyalty to the company they work for. From that point on it was a continuous stream of downsizing and the constant mantra of “Do more with less”. While the companies efficiency increased the pay to the remaining workers actually decreased when considering inflation. That is except for the CEOs. Their pay dramatically increased during this period.
This does not excuse the practice of abusing sick days but it does seem to explain why it is increasing. I have not personally seen anyone abuse sick days but I did witness a neighbor who was having a “work-at-home” day away from the office. She spent the day tending her front yard flower beds. Maybe the sick day bounty hunters can expand their business to this also. There is nothing like a growing industry here in the U.S.
And the journey goes on….