Do Bosses Check Social Media When Employees Are Out Sick?

Most employees, whether they are teenage part time workers or adult full timers, don’t appear to give much thought to calling in sick as long as they don’t do it too often. From what we’ve seen, these sick days can sometimes be “mental health days”, when the employee isn’t sick but just needs a break.

snooWe aren’t judging people here, but we saw a thread on Reddit recently where some people commented on their strategies around whether they connect with coworkers on social media, and what has happened when things went wrong.

On connecting with people from work, the two most popular posts were:

“If you are dumb enough to give yourself away on social media you deserve it.”


“This has been happening for years. That’s why I don’t friend/follow people from work. That’s also why I rarely use social media, I don’t want everyone to anyways know what I’m up to.”

Apparently a lot of people feel strongly that it’s a bad idea to be social media friends with people from work, particularly your boss. What’s the downside? Well, your coworkers might stop trusting you for one thing.

“My coworker asked me to cover for her the other day because “her father in law just got diagnosed with stage iv colon cancer and she needs to be there to support him”. Then she posted pictures to Facebook of her tailgating all day and going to a football game. She asked me to cover for her again this weekend and I was like f*** no.”


“I had a coworker ask me to cover her opening shift one time. I happened to be on FB and saw pictures she posted from the previous night, drinking and having a good time. She wasn’t ill, she was hung over. She made her decision and did that to herself. I said no.”

You can also get into hot water for badmouthing fellow employees or the company:

“We did have an issue with a co-worker going on Twitter and posting her issues with various co-workers during business hours with it displaying prominently on her page where she worked. She got fired.”

You should avoid doing that whether you are linked to your coworkers or not.

And the people who make the mistake of posting their antics after calling in sick:

“Dude at my job said he was sick and used a sick day to go to his own wedding. Posted pics on FB. Fired next day.”


“A former coworker of mine got fired this way. She was supposed to be on short term disability for being in a car accident, but her Facebook pictures had her in Hawaii and other places vacationing. When my employer decided to downsize, she was one of the first to be let go.”


“Went to the movies to see Batman vs. Superman with my fiancée after calling in sick. I have no coworkers added but my fiancée is friends with some of mine. Well… like most women do, they have to take pictures of dates & that’s how I got my first write up.”

This mindset was prevalent throughout:

People getting in trouble for this crap are completely stupid. If you lied about being sick and instead went to Disneyland, maybe don’t post the photos from Disneyland until a couple weeks later.”

In summary, it’s up to you whether your connect with coworkers on social media, but if you do, the risks are elevated if:

  • You make negative comments about your coworkers, company or customers
  • You call in sick and post proof that you aren’t

Always post wisely, as if you assume others will see what you’re putting online. The others in this case might be your bosses. When you post publicly online, you’ve given up your right to privacy.



If your teen or tween is active online and you are having trouble keeping up, we can help. We respect your kids’ privacy and give you the tools you need to be a better digital parent. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

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