One-in-Five Workers Admit to Making Up Fake Excuses for Arriving Late to Work, Survey Finds
- Hiring Managers Share Top Ten Most Outrageous Excuses -

A new survey by found some workers are suffering from a lack of punctuality. One-in-ten workers -- 13 percent -- say they arrive late to work at least once a week and 24 percent say they arrive late at least once a month. One-in-five admit to making up fake excuses to explain their tardiness. The survey, "Late to Work," was conducted from February 21 to March 6 of more than 2,500 workers, including 1,000 hiring managers.

"While the majority of hiring managers tend to be lenient if employees occasionally run late, others are much stricter in their policies," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for "Thirty percent of hiring managers say they don't care if their employees come in late as long as their work is completed on time with good quality. However, one-in-ten hiring managers say they would consider terminating an employee if he/she arrives late once or twice in a given year. One-in-five say a pink slip may be in order if an employee is late three times in a year."

When asked to identify the primary cause for coming in late, 27 percent of workers cited traffic. Ten percent pointed to getting their kids ready for school or day care while 11 percent said falling back asleep was the main culprit. Other popular reasons included forgetting something at home, feeling sick and the inability to find house or car keys.

Not surprising, Monday is the most popular day for late arrivals, according to 64 percent of hiring managers. While the majority of hiring managers don't typically question the validity of the reasons provided, 35 percent say most of the time they don't believe the excuses.

Hiring managers provided the following top ten examples of the most unusual excuses employees offered for arriving late to work:

  1.  I dreamed that I was fired, so I didn't bother to get out of bed.
  2.  I had to take my cat to the dentist.
  3.  I went all the way to the office and realized I was still in my
      pajamas and had to go home to change.
  4.  I saw that you weren't in the office, so I went out looking for you.
  5.  I couldn't find the right tie, so I had to wait for the stores to open
      so I could buy one.
  6.  My son tried to flush our ferret down the toilet and I needed to tend
      to the ferret.
  7.  I ran over a goat.
  8.  I stopped for a bagel sandwich, the store was robbed and the police
      required everyone to stay for questioning.
  9.  A bee flew in my car and attacked me and I had to pull over.
  10. I wet my pants and went home to change.

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Survey Methodology

The new survey, "Late to Work," was conducted from February 21 to March 6, 2006. Methodology used to collect survey responses totaling more than 2,500 workers for this study involved selecting a random sample of comScore Networks panel members. These Web Panel members were approached via an e-mail invitation, which asked them to participate in a short online survey. The results of this survey are statistically accurate to within +/- 1.96 percentage points (19 times out of 20). Note: the sample of 2,500+ included over 1,000 hiring managers. The results for the hiring managers alone are accurate within +/- 3.09 percentage points (19 times out of 20).

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  Media Contact:
  Jennifer Sullivan
  (773) 527-1164


CONTACT: Jennifer Sullivan of, +1-773-527-1164,