Another way they avoid employee abuse of sick days is by limiting such days, said Mary Tavarozzi, a senior consultant at HR consulting firm Towers Watson.
"If [employees] use up all their sick days and later get sick, they go unpaid," she said. "They kind of end up [hurting] themselves."
The most common reasons for calling in sick included having a doctor's appointment, needing time to relax and having to catch up on sleep, the survey found.
Nonetheless, some of the employees have taken their excuses for skipping a workday to the extreme. Such justifications include an employee who said he broke his arm reaching for a falling sandwich, another who claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham and one worker explained she couldn't come to work because she poked herself in the eye while combing her hair, CareerBuilder found.
"Typically, when you see these outrageous excuses, it's usually from repeat offenders," Grasz said. "It's better to be truthful. Nine out of 10 times your employer will give you a day off if you ask for it."