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Nov 022012

As an employee, you may have had days that you just didn’t feel like going in to work. As an employer, you’ve most likely heard all kinds of excuses for calling in. But, one woman has found herself in some legal trouble after she faked her own kidnapping to get a day off.

Police in San Antonio have charged Sheila Bailey Eubank, a service advisor at Gunn Honda dealership, with aggravated perjury for conjuring up a phony story of being kidnapped by a knife-wielding perpetrator.

While making rounds on October 10th, police found Eubank bound with rope inside her parked car out in a field. She told officers that a man had jumped into her car early that morning at a credit union ATM as she withdrew money. She claimed that the man held her at knifepoint, forced her to drive him to various locations – which she suspected were for drug deals – and later assaulted her, tried to choke her with a rope and ultimately left her tied up in her car.

Sounds like a good (and scary) excuse not to report for work. But her tale began to unravel when police discovered a lottery ticket in Eubank’s purse that had been purchased during the time she was supposedly being held hostage and surveillance footage at the store where the ticket was sold showed a healthy, unhurried Eubank making pleasantries with the clerk as she bought the ticket.

Additionally, video surveillance from the credit union ATM confirmed that she had withdrawn money that morning, but showed Eubank alone and no signs that anyone was with her.

When confronted with these pieces of evidence, she confessed that she had concocted the whole story because she “simply wanted a day off from work” and a little bit of attention. She may have gotten a day of rest and some attention – albeit negative attention – but it didn’t come without a cost: $100,000 in bail.

Apparently, the U.S. is the world’s only industrialized nation that does not have a national labor policy regarding sick leave or vacation and it isn’t looking good for one to be instituted in the near future.

But, even if you desperately need a day off and you’re one of the approximately 40 million American workers, who according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, does not receive paid sick leave or you count yourself among the 25 percent of the U.S. workforce who receive no paid vacation, you might want to seriously consider  dragging yourself to work. Or at least come up with a better excuse to call off: one that will not land you in  police custody.

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