U.S. workplace tardiness on rise, survey says

NEW YORK Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:43pm EST

People exit from a subway station in New York, January 22, 2008. REUTERS/Chip East

People exit from a subway station in New York, January 22, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Chip East

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - One in five U.S. workers say they are late to work at least once a week, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The most common excuse is traffic, followed by a lack of sleep and getting children ready for school or day care, said the survey conducted for CareerBuilder.com, an online job site.

Other frequent excuses are problems with public transportation, wardrobe issues or dealing with pets, it said.

One in 10 workers said they are late to their jobs at least twice a week.

Tardiness is on the rise, the survey said. In this poll, 20 percent said they were late at least once a week. In a similar one taken a year earlier, 15 percent said so.

The nationwide online survey was taken among 3,259 full-time hiring managers and human resource professionals and 8,038 full-time employees from November 12 to December 1 last year.

The poll also collected outrageous excuses for being late. One person reported having to take a second shower after walking into a spider web. Another said her husband thought it was funny to hide the car keys. Someone else claimed his car's left-turn signal was broken so he had to make all right turns to drive to work.

A third of the managers surveyed said they have terminated an employee for being late, it said.

The poll was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com. Harris Interactive said the results had a sampling error of plus or minus 1.72 percentage points among the managers, and 1.09 points among the employees.

CareerBuilder.com is owned by Gannett Co Inc, Tribune Co, McClatchy Co and Microsoft Corp.

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