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Abuse of Sick Leave: An Ethical Malady?

Patricia Harned | October 10, 2007

Picture the scene: You arrive home late from work, again. You’re exhausted and searching for something to eat when the phone rings. A very excited friend blurts out: “I've got two free tickets right behind home plate at the game tomorrow afternoon! Come on, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” You say yes right away, thinking that you’ll figure something out with the office.

You’re out of vacation time and have burned through all your personal days, too—but you still have eight days of sick leave. You think about how much work you’ve done in the past few weeks, and all the long hours replay in your head. “It’s no big deal,” you say to yourself.

The next morning, you call the office and give your boss’s assistant your most pathetic voice: “I’m not well today; don’t think I’d do you guys much good if I came in.”

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Is there an ethics issue in how American workers view the using what...

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