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Corporations Hiring Hooky Hunters

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the taking-a-personal-detective-day dept.

Businesses 610

No longer satisfied with your crinkled doctor's note, a growing number of corporations are hiring "Hooky Detectives." Private investigator Rick Raymond says he's staked out bowling alleys, pro football games, weddings and even funerals looking for people using sick days. From the article: "Such techniques have become permissible at a time when workers are more likely to play hooky. Kronos, a workforce productivity firm in Chelmsford, Mass., recently found that 57 percent of salaried employees take sick days when they're not sick — almost a 20 percent increase from statistics gathered between 2006 and 2008."

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Now you see why I warned Slashdot about vigilantes (4, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477850)

These corporate sociopath CEO's have enough money to hire private investigators to stalk us. They can come up with whatever excuse or have no reason at all. These investigators have the power to ruin marriages, friendships, careers.

What can we do about the Gestapo America [nowpublic.com] ? BTW this article should be titled "Corporations hire professional stalkers to track employees outside of the workplace."

Re:Now you see why I warned Slashdot about vigilan (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478036)

Ruin marriages and friendships? Are you taking the controversial stance on PIs finding out you're screwing your wife's coworker?

Re:Now you see why I warned Slashdot about vigilan (2, Insightful)

mrex (25183) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478156)

J. Edgar Hoover approves of your comment.

Everyone has skeletons. (4, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478166)

Don't be fooled. This is a power play by employers to take even more power from the deunionized employee base. They want to destroy the middle class once and for all and the best way to do that is to reduce the employee to utter powerlessness and promote only the obsequious.

If the boss gets pissed off, a team of investigators can permanently neutralize you. If you think the Union leader can protect you then they'll neutralize him too via investigation. It's a new way to find dirt on people, and it's creepy.

So the PI uses the honey trap on you, you flirt with this new woman and now the PI gives that information to your boss. If you piss off your boss you can lose both your career and your marriage? Tell me how this can be avoided.

Re:Everyone has skeletons. (5, Insightful)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478520)

So the PI uses the honey trap on you, you flirt with this new woman and now the PI gives that information to your boss. If you piss off your boss you can lose both your career and your marriage? Tell me how this can be avoided.

You could try being faithful to your wife . . . .

As much as I hate the canard about "if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide", there is a valid corollary: "If you've done nothing wrong, you won't get caught".

Re:Everyone has skeletons. (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478534)

By keeping your fly zipped up?

Re:Now you see why I warned Slashdot about vigilan (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478132)

These corporate sociopath CEO's...

I'm beginning to wonder if the best solution might be a law mandating that certain jobs require a psych evaluation before hiring. Confidential, of course. The specific criteria being conditions likely to lead to abuse of power, like antisocial personality disorder (aka psychopathy or sociopathy, two terms now out of use).

Put another way, "sociopaths" assume leadership positions in business precisely they aren't held back by conventional barriers, like empathy or ethics. They can out-compete regular folks by lying, cheating, and generally screwing over their fellow man, giving them an edge over any competition that won't stoop to their level. Screening them out would level the playing field for people who aren't complete and utter bastards.

Jobs that might benefit from such screening include corporate executives, senior government bureaucrats, politicians, lobbyists, law enforcement officers, lawyers and possibly others I've overlooked.

Hire PI's? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478542)

Hire some PI's who work with psychologists to investigate individuals for sociopathy? Is that what you are advocating?

Weddings and funerals? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477856)

Gee I dunno, I'd think that getting married or being buried might be a good excuse to not show up to work.

Why should your employer govern your behavior? (3, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477878)

Why are we allowing employers to put us into neo-feudalism? Can't you see these employers are doing what government wants to do but can't get away with?

Re:Why should your employer govern your behavior? (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478436)

Unfortunately, this is part of a bigger trend. To wit: the past /. stories of people being fired for stuff they put on facebook when they're not on the clock about the stuff they when they're not on the clock.

Re:Weddings and funerals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34477912)

Some might argue that those 2 events are the same thing.

Re:Weddings and funerals? (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478366)

I agree they're good reasons to not be at work, but why use sick days? And how many weddings are on weekdays? If bosses really are using these stalkers to follow people around on the weekend, then this truly does sound like an asshat type of m.o. I know, some people work on weekends, but I'm picturing the average cubicle denizen who works M-F 8-5.

Re:Weddings and funerals? (1)

Teufelsmuhle (849105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478492)

When did 9-5 become 8-5?

Vacation time (1)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477866)

Maybe you should give your workforce a bit more vacation time, 5 weeks enough?

Re:Vacation time (5, Interesting)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477904)

This is a list of the amount of paid days you are required to give your employees:

Finland 30
Frankrike 30
Förenade Arab Emiraten 30
Estland 28
Litauen 28
Polen 26
Danmark 25
Grekland 25
Luxemburg 25
Sverige 25
Österrike 25
Israel 24
Malta 24
Tyskland 24
Ungern 23
Portugal 22
Spanien 22
Cypern 21
Egypten 21
Marocko 21
Rumänien 21
Sydafrika 21
Australien 20
Belgien 20
Bulgarien 20
Irland 20
Italien 20
Japan 20
Lettland 20
Nederländerna 20
Nya Zeeland 20
Slovakien 20
Slovenien 20
Storbritannien 20
Tjeckien 20
Sydkorea 19
Malaysia 16
Libanon 15
Hong Kong 14
Pakistan 14
Singapore 14
Taiwan 14
Vietnamn 14
Indien 12
Indonesien 12
Kanada 10
Thailand 6
Filipinerna 5
USA 0

from unt.se

Re:Vacation time (2)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477972)

This does not include days like Halloween and Christmas etc.

Re:Vacation time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478498)

They're not required to be paid holidays.

Re:Vacation time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478040)

So US is best, Finland is worst. Yes!! Go USA!

Re:Vacation time (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478092)

Is there an English translation of those names? I can understand most of them, but Frankrik? I assume that Förenade Arab Emiraten is supposted to be United Arab Emirates. Estland, Litauen, Grekland, Sverige? Those are a few that I don't have the slightest clue.

Re:Vacation time (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478116)

Translations would be nice, but to me, the key point is the last line.

USA: 0

Re:Vacation time (2)

Binestar (28861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478206)

Yeah, but that is what they are required to give. The real question is what do they actually give? I work for a small company (>5 employees) and get 15 days vacation, 1 day sick, 6 holidays for a total of 22 paid days off per year. My last job I got 6 holidays and 10 vacation days for a total of 16 days off. How many people are really working with no paid time off in the US above the minimum wage/burger flipper levels?

Re:Vacation time (1)

The Hatchet (1766306) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478402)

A lot of people. and that 22 days is still shit. Figure the people in countries required to give 30 days get maybe 35-45 days. Happy workers are more productive, but that is something that only private companies care about, corporations wouldn't dare give you one day off this week if it made you twice as productive next week, they would rather hire scientists to study why you can only move so fast and work so hard, and how they can drug you to make you work harder, faster, and complain about it less.

Re:Vacation time (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478512)

Most private companies are corporations.

Re:Vacation time (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478536)

His numbers don't include holidays I think.

I get 15 days of vacation and 5 days of sick/personal days a year at the moment. However, I also get 11 holidays off, for a total of 31 days off a year. Not bad compared to the other countries. This amount of compensation is typical amongst my college educated friends.

When I worked as a waiter through college I would get 0 days off a year.

Re:Vacation time (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478544)

but that is something that only private companies care about, corporations wouldn't dare give you one day off this week

Do you actually understand what a corporation is? That's a rhetorical question, because you obviously do not.

...how they can drug you ...

Never mind, you're a tool. Or a troll. Or both. A Trool.

If you actually have something offer, your employer would rather meet your expectations for PTO than have you work for a competitor. If all you want to do is show up and push a broom, don't expect them to be looking for extra ways to pay you to not be there doing that non-stressful, low-productivity job. It's called a market for a reason. The whole point is that people who bother even a little bit to be more valuable to the people to whom they're selling their time and expertise have and can get more options and flexibility.

Never mind. You'd rather that the Nanny State dictated ever interaction between you and the rest of the world, right? Have you asked the Nanny State if you're allowed to respond to this post? Better check.

Re:Vacation time (2)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478154)

From google translate:

Finland 30
France 30
United Arab Emirates 30
Estonia 28
Lithuania 28
Poland 26
Denmark 25
Greece 25
Luxembourg 25
Sweden 25
Austria 25
Israel 24
Malta 24
Germany 24
Hungary 23
Portugal 22
Spain 22
Cyprus 21
Egypt 21
Morocco 21
Romania 21
South Africa 21
Australia 20
Belgium 20
Bulgaria 20
Ireland 20
Italy 20
Japan 20
Latvia 20
Netherlands 20
New Zealand 20
Slovakia 20
Slovenia 20
UK 20
Czech Republic 20
Korea 19
Malaysia 16
Lebanon 15
Hong Kong 14
Pakistan 14
Singapore 14
Taiwan 14
Vietnam 14
India 12
Indonesia 12
Canada 10
Thailand 6
Philippines 5
USA 0

Re:Vacation time (2)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478184)

There's something wrong with your translation, USA still gets 0! Maybe you should try to translate to corporate-speak; this usually changes the facts in no time.

Re:Vacation time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478280)

USA 0 days (redeemable in cash)

Re:Vacation time (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478380)

Is there an English translation of those names? I can understand most of them, but Frankrik?

It's not that hard. Frankrike = the nation of the Franks, i.e. France.

Re:Vacation time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478510)

Without being able to do more than guess that we're looking at a Scandinavian language, some of them are pretty obvious. Frankrik is France: Frank Reich. Grekland is almost certainly Greece. Sverige is the Swedish name for Sweden. Less certainly, Litauen is probably Lithuania and Estland is probably Estonia. I thought Estland might perhaps be Austria until I saw Österrike listed, which is definitely a name for Austria.

I could look them up and make sure, but that would be much less fun than trying to deduce them. English is only a short hop away from the Scandinavian languages, linguistically. There are very few things on that list you can't puzzle out, and Grekland isn't one of them.

Re:Vacation time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478306)

Just for completeness, can you now post the GDP of each of these countries?

Re:Vacation time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478390)

REPUBLICAN SPOTTED.

Re:Vacation time (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478256)

Ya, that was covered in the documentary "Sicko", the US doesn't give time off, and many people do at least some WORK during their vacation. It is suspected this leads to poor heath.

Re:Vacation time (1)

swfranklin (578324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478430)

I had an employer several years ago that gave decent vacation time (1-4 weeks depending on tenure), and they gave 40 hours a year of sick time. The cool part was that your last paycheck of the year, you got paid for whatever sick time you hadn't used. Great incentive not to use it!

The company got bought by a big corp and that bennie was the first to go :-(

Perhaps a structural solution would be better (4, Insightful)

slk (2510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477874)

Instead of having to police sick days, a simpler solution would be to combine sick days and vacation days into "earned time off" or similar. Let the employee use the time as they see fit, no policing required, and you probably get better morale in the deal too.

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (5, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477930)

Yeah, except that you get sick and you spend your entire time "off" in bed. I had that once and I hated it.

If I'm sick, I'm told to stay home, and I'll happily try to do some work from there. If you tell me that I'll lose vacation time by staying home, I'm gonna come into the office short being unable to walk. Take your pick, which do you prefer?

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478266)

it also encourages people who are sick to come in to work anyway to save their time off.

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478308)

Exactly. Want my Swine Flu? You can have it, if that means not losing my vacation.

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34477934)

It's worse, since they cut the 2 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks of sick time into 3 weeks of PTO. Which means nobody ever calls in sick, since it costs vacation time.

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34477940)

my employer does this - that is combine sick days and vacation days into "earned time off" and it works great

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478004)

We currently have "PTO" (paid time off) instead of vacation/sick days.... two things suck about this (indeed, it's better than having someone spy on you when you're out to see if you're REALLY sick): The first is people hoard their vacation days by coming in sick when they really should be at home (after all, why would you want to waste a PTO day when you're ill?) And second, you can only roll over 40 hours at the end of the year. It doesn't accumulate (like sick time used to.) use it or lose it... even if you've earned it.

Now, the latter isn't as bad as the coming in sick part. I hate that and everywhere I've worked that didn't differentiate between "time off" and "sick time" had a bunch of coughing, wheezing bastards coming in and infecting the rest of the office because they were too cheap to just stay home (and lose a vacation day or two).

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478032)

combine sick days and vacation days into "earned time off" or similar

PTO [google.com]

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478302)

My employer does one better. Combined sick days and vacation days, yes, but if you're out sick for two days you're automatically put on short term disability, which pays 100% up to something like 500 hours. Down side, they combined holidays with sick and vacation, too, but I'll take the good with the bad.

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478316)

Unfortunately, some people spend all of their vacation and "sick" days on holidays. Then they get sick.

You cannot seriously expect employers to offer you all the benefits of a (semi-)permanent job without giving them the benefits of a (semi-)permanent employee.

Sick leave is not a gift to you, it's the company being understanding in an emergency. If you allow people to use it for holidays now, next year there will be protests demanding additional paid sick leave for emergencies.

Re:Perhaps a structural solution would be better (1)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478420)

That's what my employer did. But the new total = the old number of vacation days. Bummer.

Give an inch, they'll take a yard. (1)

angiasaa (758006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477876)

But seen another way. Why the hell give only an inch in the first place? :| People obviously want the yard!

Hookers? (1)

dorkinson (1615103) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477884)

My brain combined the words hooky and hunters. That would have made for 1) an interesting read, and 2) a more disturbing photo.

They're still sick days (5, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477888)

It still counts as a sick day if you're taking the day off for your mental health, right?

Of course, if American employers would just provide a reasonable number of vacation days, this wouldn't be an issue; unfortunately it seems like the company has to squeeze you for every last ounce of productivity, even when squeezing less might make you more productive.

Re:They're still sick days (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477976)

Exactly, I call them "Sick of work days".

Re:They're still sick days (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478274)

I always say I'm calling out sick due to an acute case of "anal myopia".

As in, "I can't see my ass going in to the office today".

Technology is going to empower the bosses. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478044)

The cellphone with twitter and facebook so they know where you are at all times and can contact you at all times. GPS tag on your car, in your phone. And now private investigators so they can monitor our behavior?

When those private investigators gain state of the art surveillance technology they'll be able to do a lot more than this article is describing. You piss off the boss and he can ruin your life literally.

Re:Technology is going to empower the bosses. (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478270)

It's not as bizarre and unlikely as you are hoping it is. Companies like HP sees no problem in doing all sorts of spying on their employees. Companies see no problem in making employees sign a "anything you create on or off company time belongs to us" agreements. They would certainly see no problem with "as long as you are employed by us, you agree to make available to us [this information]." There are no laws against it, therefore it is legal. And if it is legal, it is right and good. Also, it will take a lot of abuse before people voluntarily make themselves unemployed and if any number of employers want to do this, they will all do it.

If you want an example what people are willing to put up with in the U.S., go travel somewhere by airplane.

Why? (2)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477916)

I don't get it. Work is not school.

Power, control, thats what they want. (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477990)

Your boss wants to own you literally. Like a plantation owner owns his slave.

If you try to run away from your owner you'll be declared "mentally ill."

Employers want to use their power as employer to politically enable themselves to take moral control over our lives. Next they'll be tracking us to make sure we aren't cheating on our wives and husbands. To make sure we don't reveal corporate secrets, or to just to target the subversive workers who try to form a union.

Re:Power, control, thats what they want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478160)

You have wives and husbands?

Won't do any good where I work (1)

eaddict (148006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477920)

They put all the days off in one pool. Sick, vacation, and personal. You mismanage and run out you don't get paid. You are allowed to carry quite a bit so there is no fear of being short of days when needed IF you plan well.

Re:Won't do any good where I work (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478186)

It's so relaxing not being able to take vacation because you want to be able to maintain a reasonable number of sick days. I don't know what I did back when we had sick days and I actually had to use vacation time for *gasp* vacation time.

Solution: personal days (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477926)

Dear Management:
  1. Change "sick" days to "personal" days.
  2. Treat employees like adults..

Re:Solution: personal days (1)

butlerm (3112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478310)

Change "sick" days to "personal" days.

I agree. The other side of the story is distinguishing sick and vacation days is a form of health insurance that insures against the cost of being more sick than the average employee.

Of course, like most forms of insurance, it is subject to abuse, and tends to require auditing to make sure that people don't do just that. Far better to just treat employees fairly with a fixed amount of paid time off and let them make the call as to when and where.

[The comment form is not working very well in Chrome at the moment, btw]

No need to stalk the Leadership (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477936)

Because I'm sure they're not doing the same thing.

Re:No need to stalk the Leadership (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478348)

No, they aren't. Playing golf during business hours is "a meeting." Going to clubs and bars during business hours is "a meeting." Just because it's fun doesn't mean it's not "work." Still, I get what you're saying and I agree. We're peons. We don't deserve to enjoy our work because we aren't in the same caste.

(Yes, they seriously believe this.)

the WoW expansion pack came out today (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477962)

i was going to make a snide joke: how can a private eye spy on a guy in a dark basement room with no windows, who doesn't eat, sleep or use the bathroom (real WoW payers use Depends!)

but then i thought: if you are playing WoW instead of going to work today, you really are suffering from a kind of sickness, aren't you?

and therefore, you are using your sick day appropriately

Re:the WoW expansion pack came out today (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478158)

Anyone who would really understand the WoW reference isn't reading slashdot today...

NOT sick days! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34477970)

The only examples provided were of employees suspected of fraud while on medical leave.

I see ZERO examples of a private dick being dispatched because someone took a sick day.

Re:NOT sick days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478248)

Mod parent up. If that's true (can't follow the link here at work, heh) that's a HUGE difference.

And... (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477986)

Exactly how much do these PIs cost? One organization "charges $75 an hour per investigator." How is that worth it? If you don't pay that to the falsely-sick employees, it's not like they're being paid 75 clams an hour. Or is it cheaper to fire them and hire someone else who isn't rattled by being spied on? Why is paying more than you're losing to find out how much you're losing good?

So they give the investigator a contract. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478182)

Investigate any of my employees for $100,000 a year.

Re:And... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478292)

This is what I wanted to post. Unless this guy is rounding up several employees per hour, the numbers don't work. The only time I've ever seen a PI get used is when someone is making a worker's comp claim or is taking sixty sick days added on to their two week vacation ("got sick on the cruise").

Re:And... (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478446)

This was my thought exactly. The cost of enforcement seems higher than that of whatever productivity might be lost. The pound-foolish behavior of these control-freak bosses is losing company money.

This will not become widespread.

Keep up with the times (5, Interesting)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34477996)

Employee longevity has dropped from 30-some years to about 3. Maybe corporate hiring policy should take that into account when doling out vacation time. I may not have been with the company for long, but I do have 20 years behind me and would like a new position to start out with something more than 2 weeks off.

Re:Keep up with the times (1)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478358)

Move overseas. Seriously. The situation in your country is not going to change until people start doing something to fix it, and in this case, let the free market sort it out - many European countries mandate four weeks or more paid vacation. When large numbers of good workers start moving overseas, the countries with poor vacation policies will have to improve to get the best staff.

Re:Keep up with the times (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478414)

You are supposed to NEGOTIATE for that. You tell them at the interview that is something you would like. Tell them what you have now and tell them you do not want to have less. They might offer resistance citing "policy" but believe me, they do it all the time for sought-after people. I recall one time I was bargaining with a potential employer. They were really pretty damned far from where I was living. I wanted some sort of transportation allowance or some such thing. They refused. I didn't accept. Simple as that.

How does it accomplish anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478028)

How does it accomplish anything? These detectives won't be able to tell the difference between staying home and watching TV/playing games and being sick and staying home and watching TV/playing games...

Not our fault. (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478030)

If we're overworked, the environment sucks, the work itself sucks, or any combination of those, then companies shouldn't be surprised. The idea of a "mental health" sick day shouldn't be seen as absurd. It's one reason why the best and smaller companies offer more vacation even to new hires.

Unfortunately some companies (and the US work environment in general) really dont give a shit about their employees well being. Oh how I wish we had European workplace rules. At least we're not Japan.

Thats because we are not human beings to "it". (2)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478282)

And by it, I mean the corporate machinery, which includes the leadership of many corporations who see their employees as means to an end rather than the end itself.

Corporations also are trying to take on the role once held by government. This conveniently will allow Sarah Palin to team up with Mitt Romney and Rand Paul to bring moral values into the workplace while at the same time forcing us to be in that place for longer and longer hours. And if we get sick of it then we have to deal with an investigation?

And if you blog about it then you get called crazy like Joel Harris. [jbhfile.com]

Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478034)

One of my co-workers was off sick today. I think it's the third sick day taken in the three months they've been there. I normally wouldn't give a shit but when I have to cover their duties and deal with all the crap I can't help but get angry about it. I'm still fuming and the work day's over. Let's hope they're back in tomorrow because I'm going to have a fucking coronary otherwise. I can't wait until death when this shit will end. Rant over.

carcosa30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478046)

How about this: US corporations can go fuck themselves. I dropped out of that rat race 7 years ago and I've never been the slightest bit sorry.

Re:carcosa30 (1)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478378)

What did you do? Go contracting, start your own business, retire or move overseas?

Paid Leave (4, Informative)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478094)

The U.S. Military, which is known for working people a lot harder than most corporations, still gives 30 days a year of paid leave. No 'Sick Days'. You could not take days off and build up 60 days if you wanted to. Anything over that was just paid back to you at end of year. It was the best policy I have ever worked under.

Now you couldn't always take your leave when you wanted to, for obvious reasons, but it worked and it's good for morale.

Re:Paid Leave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478330)

Weekends also count as part of your paid vacation, unlike corporate america..

but yes, the military does give people 2.5 days a month and it builds up on a credit system. Maximum of 90 days in a 2 year period.

Re:Paid Leave (1)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478444)

You do get sick days in the military, unlimited sick days in fact. You just have to go to sick call in the morning, though it's been loosened somewhat in recent years (in the Air Force anyway).

And though the leave rules require one to take leave on weekends in some cases, the extra unscheduled days off (like "down days" before a 3 day weekend) make up for it. Of course, the hours are longer in the military than in the civilian world and there's the small matter of deployments...

I've finally reached a point in my civilian job where my time off is about equal to what I had when I was active duty. I get 10 holidays (6 fixed, 4 floating), 5 sick days, and 20 vacation days a year. I also get unpaid time off for Reserves too, though my employer makes up any difference between my military and civilian pay.

Re:Paid Leave (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478514)

Sick call? You mean the Motrin distribution center? :)

We had a kid come down with Spinal Meningitis while he was in. Went to sick call, got Motrin. Went to real doctor, got proper diagnosis, and got some real time off.

So yes, I guess you do get unlimited sick days, but you can't just call in and use them.

Re:Paid Leave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478470)

>U.S. Military, which is known for working people a lot harder

Thank goodness I'm on the General Staff. /I can't figure out why they wanted to give combat badges. //Seriously dude, it's like playing Risk where I work.

The Cube-Dweller Culture Had This Coming (-1, Troll)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478112)

"Sick" days? That's, like, you're sick, you do no work, you're unproductive, but you still get paid?

Nice gig.

It's always a kick to see how cube-dwellers squeal when one of their work "rights" is threatened; the same cube-dwellers who want to preach to artists, writers and musicians about how they should be earning their keep in "the digital age" and when/when not to expect payment for what kind of work.

Re:The Cube-Dweller Culture Had This Coming (2)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478480)

"Sick" days? That's, like, you're sick, you do no work, you're unproductive, but you still get paid?

Nice gig.

It's always a kick to see how cube-dwellers squeal when one of their work "rights" is threatened; the same cube-dwellers who want to preach to artists, writers and musicians about how they should be earning their keep in "the digital age" and when/when not to expect payment for what kind of work.

This doesn't have much to do with being a cube-dweller, it has to do with being a salaried employee.

Hourly employees are paid for the hours they work. Don't show up to work, don't get paid. Work 50+ hours in a week, get paid for 50+ hours that week.

Salaried employees get paid a fixed wage largely unrelated to the number of hours they work in a given week. This is because it is assume that there are occasions that they'll work significantly more than 50 hours in a week. Sick leave, personal leave, vacation time, etc. are all ways of compensating salaried employees for that extra time they put in but don't get paid for.

I used to work at Electronics Boutique. During the holidays we'd put in some very long hours. 10+ hour days became the norm. You'd see some very nice paychecks for a while there. But if I got sick and couldn't make it in to work I didn't get paid anything at all.

I now work in IT at a hospital. I'm a salaried employee. I get sick leave and vacation time. Last week I put in 11 hours on Monday, 15 hours on Thursday, and then another 2 hours at 4:00 AM on Sunday - in addition to the normal 8-hour days in-between. I wound up with 52 hours last week. I'll get paid the same as if I worked 40.

Hopefully they'll be there... (4, Interesting)

marcsiry (38594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478134)

...on the Sunday morning when I'm on an eight hour outage call starting at 4AM...

or the Monday night when I stay at the office until 10 working on a time sensitive launch...

do they turn the "hooky" clock backwards in that case?

Hooky Hokum! (2)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478146)

This is such BS. If my company did that I would try to organize a massive Hooky Day! I am not a big fan of the union scene but this is just the sort of crap that causes people to get together and create them. Corporations simply need to understand that running on a skeleton crew is what makes them less productive!

Overworked employees make more mistakes, hate their jobs more, have overall poorer health which affects productivity, and facilitates the installation of a revolving door at the front. No matter how cool your technology, processes, or systems become... people will forever remain your most powerful asset. If you treat them well, give them perks, pay fairly, and maintain flexibility you will have a crew that can perform as well as another crew with twice as many people under a punk boss!

This is all fairly common sense, yet a common sense that is lost on most supervisors as they continue to strain the credulity of their efforts to minimize cost, and squeeze the last ounce of productivity out the lifeless worker drones!

FTO (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478190)

That's why it's called "flexible time off," not "sick days" you fucking fascists.

Sick people come to work (1)

Wansu (846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478196)

If they're sick enough or they have sick kids, most people where I work stay home and work some from home. Otherwise, they come to the office sick and spread their germs. That way more people get sick.

Businesses used to give most workers paid sick leave. I suppose that's another disappearing benefit.

I'm sure there are those who would abuse it but this hooky detective stuff is nothing but intimidation.

When I First Glanced At The Title I Thought I Read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478220)

Corporations Hiring Hooker Hunters.

Yes, with all the corruption from Criminals-In-Congress, Corporations need more Hookers For Congress.

Yours In Odessa,
K. Trout

its my time (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478252)

I've said this in front of management where I work, its my time and ill use it how I want. The only thing they warn about is if you run out of time and get sick, but then there is fmla (if you don't mind not getting paid)
if I don't get sick very often, its not fair that I can't still use accumulated benefit time just as much as someone who is of lesser health.

Kronos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478322)

Their timekeeping software seldom works, seldom stores punches correctly, and is a general all around hassle to administrate. Can we trust any statistics they generate?

Vacation time is constant (1)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478324)

Generally speaking, vacation time is roughly, somewhere around 3-4 weeks per year. If a company offers you that much, people tend to be happier and more honest. If a company offers less, morale falls and people take the remainder as fake sick leave, because they feel they deserve it. It leads to disrespect for management. And since people value their sick leave to use as vacation, they're much more likely to come in to work while sick, spreading illness and decreasing productivity throughout the company. Too little vacation is a false economy for a company. (Yes, there are naturally exceptions.)

HA HA HA! (1)

Nugoo (1794744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478354)

Yeah, right! Like, I'd waste a day off going outside.

Not sick days. Crap summary, l2read (5, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478376)

If any of y'all bothered to RTFA (madness, I know), you'd have found that they aren't talking about random one-off sick days. They are investigating people on long-term disability leave. Taking a sick day because your job is stressful is not the issue here, and frankly would not be worth hiring a private dick. These people are on extended periods of paid leave for what are supposed to be debilitating health issues - the whole point of being off work is because you're not in any shape to do the work. If you throw out your back, and they give you 6 months of paid leave to rest and recover, it sort-of looks bad if you start major renovations on your house the following week. It also constitutes insurance fraud, something a tad more serious than a few I.T. guys taking the day off to play Cataclysm.

Given that I know of a bunch of people who are exploiting the system right now, shafting their fellow coworkers, driving up the premiums, and of course sticking the honest ones with overtime to make up for it, well I feel no sympathy for the hypocrites and I whole-heartedly endorse these investagators. Hell, we just outed one a few months back. Not only did this person have a long history of feigning chronic pain and stress, but she was doing it twice! When she was on leave from one job, she'd work at a 2nd, and vice versa. Once the taxman is done tearing her a new one, she gets to defend herself in court against two insurance firms. Not that I like the insurance racket any, but someone needs to punish these socially defective crooks.

This is sick... (1)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478384)

On both levels. You've got people using their sick days when they aren't sick while we've got near-record unemployment levels. I had a job from July 2009 to June 2010, never took a mental health day, worked overtime when requested, and got laid off in June thanks to NY state cutting funding for state-funded private agencies. These people have (presumably) good paying jobs and are willingly wasting their SICK DAYS to go do whatever while some of us have been trying to find a job that doesn't require us to relocate an absurd distance. Go to work you lazy bums. And people wonder why the rest of the world thinks that Americans have no work ethic... Granted, I'm not supporting employers stalking their employees outside of work. Thats just wrong.

cough i am sick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478462)

Many companies have gotten rid of SICK days and replaced them with personal time off (PTO) They can be used as you see fit, sick days, fake sick days or just didnt feel like coming to work days. I haven't had "sick" days in 10-15 years. This way if your healthy you get a couple extra vacation days, if your not you loose a few. In the long run I have more days than others with sick days and dont have to lie to use them.

Sick time vs. paid time off (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478466)

There are companies that have virtually unlimited "sick" time off. These are pretty rare today but this does exist. When it does and people take "sick" days as vacation time there is indeed something to complain about, mostly because in theory their sick time policy is a short term disability plan. So if someone stays out for two weeks because of a supposed injury or sickness they are certainly going to be checked up on. It has been common for years (decades, really) to require a statement from the doctor when you come back. This isn't just for abuse prevention, although it works pretty well at that.

When there are no "sick days" but just paid time off (PTO) or "flex time" or whatever it happens to be called then there is clearly no issue and trying to find out if people are really sick is pointless.

Of course, both sorts of plans can be abused. If you are an unreliable employee that just doesn't show up some days it will certainly be noticed and recorded. You will be penalized for this either in lack of raises or lack of promotion. Or just canned. Any organization that doesn't do this is just fostering an environment where nobody cares and that will be noticed by everyone as well. So both management and the employees have to care about stuff getting done and not having a "What? Me care?" attitude about the work environment.

Mental health days (1)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478472)


I've treated my sick days as personal days, but I consider them to be mental health days. After all, my mental well-being is as important (if not more so) to my job performance as my physical health.
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