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Missing Persons

When employees call in sick, it's your business that suffers.

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This story appears in the January 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

I'm not feeling so good," your employee croaks over the phone, just a little too hoarsely. Most employers discount sick calls, whether real or fake, as just one of those things. However, recent statistics show unscheduled absences have lingering effects, especially on small businesses.

A rise in employee absenteeism is coming on like a bad flu, and small businesses are feeling the symptoms. Companies with fewer than 100 employees suffered from an 18 percent increase in absenteeism this year over last year, according to a survey by CCH Inc., a business materials publisher. This increase was far more substantial than the average 3.5 percent increase experienced by businesses in general.

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