According to a recent story in the Chicago Sun-Times on doctored notes, there is a profusion of web-based sites that sell templated “excuse” letters ranging from jury duty, funerals, doctor notes and emergency room visits. Most offer disclaimers stating that the letters are “for entertainment purposes only.” The Sun-Times article advises readers that supplying fake documentation rather than just calling with an excuse serves to escalate the deception by actually providing a paper trail. The article also states that false documentation may be grounds for firing.
We bemoan the lack of imagination is such a cookie-cutter approach – it would be a shame to lose some of the highly creative work excuses that HR managers enjoy sharing. Nevertheless, if your organization requires documented absences, you may want to familiarize yourself with these sites. You may also want to look at your vacation and sick time policies and see if they unwittingly foster such deceit by extreme rigidity. We’ve found that employers with an “earned time” bank or some flexibility of sick, vacation and personal days have fewer problems with “creative excuses.”
Thanks to Michael Fox of Jottings By an Employer’s Lawyer pointed us to this story. He supplies live links to some of the excuse mills cited in the story should you want to explore further.


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