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Under Pressure

Every time the phone rings, it's a stressed-out employee calling in sick. What can you do?

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Our super-fast economy has finally led to super-fed-up workers, who are calling in sick in droves simply because they feel entitled to days off. Entitlement is at an all-time high for the second year in a row, accounting for 19 percent of unscheduled absences according to the 1999 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey.

Though absenteeism declined 7 percent last year, unscheduled absences still cost employers an average of $602 per employee annually. And a good chunk of that change can be attributed to a rise in reported stress (which tripled between 1995 and 1999) and the subsequent spread of the entitlement mentality (which more than doubled).

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