The newest Truant Officials!

In the December 6 edition of Bloomberg Businessweek there is an interesting article written by Eric Spitznagel about the corporate response to the numbers of people playing hooky from work. Apparently there is a rapidly growing business line for private detectives in the U.S.; watching to see what people who have called in sick to work are actually doing! The article cites US sick time abuse statistics and examples:
• 57% of U.S. workers taking sick days when not really sick (a roughly 20% increase over the 2006 – 2008 years)
• people calling in sick and taking a holiday (multiday theme park visits or cruises, or just a day to attend a hockey game, etc.)
• employers providing employees with technology with GPS tracking software used to monitor employee whereabouts;
• employees using Spoofcard (a software tool that makes it possible to have a specified phone number – like an employee’s home number – show up as the source of the call regardless of where the call is actually coming from).
The perspective of the employer – people who are paid for sick time and who are not sick are committing fraud. The US courts view employer surveillance as “not preferred employer behavior, but not illegal”.
The reasons employees are skipping work – stuck in jobs they can’t leave for lack of others to go to and poor job satisfaction.
With the cost of sick time reputed to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year in Canada there is every chance employers will look for ways to ensure that those costs are minimized. There is no question that  checking is already occurring by the various insurance agencies covering the costs of sick plan insurance.
To read Spitznagel’s article
December 6 – 12, 2010 edition. P. 93 ETC. The Sick-Day Bounty Hunters.

About Anne Howard Human Resource Consulting

Anne holds a BA (Sociology) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA)and a certificate in Human Resource Management.  She also holds Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designations and . . . . . .  Anne continues to engage in ongoing training to remain at the top of her field. She is practical, realistic, highly analytic, and creative.    Anne is also a Sessional Instructor in the Bachelor of Business Administration Continuing Education department at Mount Royal University. Anne is unique in her ability to see the broad scope vision of the business owner, determine what is required to reach that goal and, then design the appropriate Human Resource Management processes.
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