Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I was reading this article on Yahoo a few days ago about companies hiring private investigators to go out and spy on people who take their sick days for non-sick reasons. Though I thought to myself that it was kind of pointless to pay $75 per hour to a private investigator instead of just letting the $20 an hour employee slide, the interesting part of the article was all the comments after it. There was over 3000, with people on both sides of the fence.

People get mad when you rip off their employer. There were so many indignant remarks about people being lucky to even have their job, let alone a week of sick time. Then there were other people, making arguments for Paid Time Off, rather than “sick” time, or justifying the behavior because employers don’t give people enough paid time off and often put pressure on their employees to not be sick and not take more than X-amount of days off consecutively.

I just thought this made a really good topic to talk about because people have such strong reactions to the issue.

Personally, I’ve worked for more employers that have fallen on the “crappy” side of things. I’ve even worked for companies that have given PTO, but didn’t want you to use it. Most bosses have made me feel horrible if my children or I were sick, so that I felt even worse being off, instead of getting better. I have sat through countless vacations with my Blackberry in hand, waiting for calls or needing to check in to see what I am falling behind on. I have given countless hours of unpaid overtime.

I’ve also worked for employers that are amazing. People that would give you their own vacation time if you needed it, and some do donate in to “banks” for people who have medical or family emergencies and have exhausted their leave. People who honestly believe that your family life is more important than any job, and they should come first. They understand that a happy employee is generally a more productive employee. The federal government has great benefits. Even if I hated my job, I would stay because I can take off when I want, and I have flexibility to make my own schedule. I can even work a compressed schedule if I want to have a 4 day work week. Not all federal positions can accommodate this, and it’s still up to your supervisor, but mine is pretty great.

I think that for an employer to not give sick time, or harass their staff if they do, is archaic and these employers will pay for their mistakes. They will experience higher than average turnover, wasting thousands of dollars in return by training new people. If the economy is able to rebound, more baby boomers will start to retire, opening tons of positions for qualified people to step in to. There will be opportunities for people to be selective in where they WANT to work, rather than where they HAVE to work. Having a business pay to hire a P.I. is a great example of corporate misuse of funds, if they are spending more to investigate their employees rather than give them better benefits.

I’m curious to see what comments you guys have on this one. It’s a random topic, but that’s okay.

I’m totally in.


  1. I'm with you on this one Keri. How ridiculous to investigate employees. Enjoyed your writing style and will be back for mpre.
    Followed you on Google. Hope you'll stop by my site and visit too.

  2. My boss gives us 15 days to use however we choose which includes vacation and sick time. He treats us like family and we are blessed to have him for an employer.

  3. Thanks Debra! I will check you out!
    Odie, do you work for government?