A recent CareerBuilder survey notes that 40 percent of workers have called in sick when they were perfectly heathy. That’s up from 35 percent the previous year. When asked to share the most unbelievable excuses to miss to work, employers reported hearing the following:

Employee had to re-schedule a new manicure because some of their artificial nails fell off.

Employee ate a toothpick in his food at restaurant.

A bear was in employee's yard and they were afraid to come out.

That’s right. Some of us are claiming to be fighting off a bear when we’re really hale and hearty. What’s embarrassing about this small percentage of workers who use dubious excuses to miss work is that they make the entire lot of malingerers look bad!

The most important thing to you, the potential skiver reading this article, is to be honest to protect yourself from the negative repercussions of using fake excuses to call off work at last minute. Which raises the question: Can you be fired for a fake excuse? The answer is yes, of course.

Thirty-eight of employers checked up on an ailing worker, and 1 in 4 have fired someone for making an excuse to call out of work. Some have asked to see the doctor’s note. Some have even driven to the employee’s house.

Still scrounging for good excuses to miss work?

If you’re still thinking of searching for good excuses for not going to work, first figure out whether you like your job. Bottom line: If you have to fake illness to stay at home, you’re probably unhappy or disengaged at work. While little excuses here and there may seem like a no big deal, it could hurt your career in the long run.

Almost a quarter of U.S. workers have lost a job, or been threatened with job loss, for taking too much sick leave.

Keep in mind that even if you use what you think is one of the many good reasons to call off work, it might still not be a good idea to get yourself in trouble. If you think your job is boring, take positive steps to change the direction of your life.

Volunteer for extra tasks, ask your boss for more challenging work or increase your knowledge in your field by taking classes.

Using excuses to call off work at last minute may seem like an easy choice – but it’s not the right one. Before emailing that fake doctor’s excuse consider your reasons to call out of work carefully. Determine the repercussions of staying home on you, your teammates, and your company.

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