Sniff. Cough. Are you really sick—or do you just need to take a day off? It’s OK—nearly a third of the workforce has done the same within the last year. (And yeah, I’ll admit I’ve taken a “mental health day” or two myself—sorry, former bosses.)

But there are some rules of the call-in-sick game. First, call your boss, don’t text. Don’t do it on the day of a big project or deadline. And seriously, don't use any excuse that even remotely resembles one on this infographic. Besides the fact that no one will ever believe that your brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel, many bosses have called to check on an employee after she’s called in sick—and 15% have fired someone for doing so without a legitimate excuse. (How’s that for motivation to get out of bed?)

Here are all the stats you need to know before the next time you call in “sick.”

Photo courtesy of Lucy Huffman. Infographic courtesy of CareerBuilder via