NBA Finals Causes Lockdown at Cook County Jail
It wasn't due to an escape, or even an escape attempt. It wasn't because of a riot or a massive fight in the cafeteria, either. The Cook County Jail recently experienced a lockdown because of the NBA Finals. It seems that over 300 guards (317, to be exact) called in "sick" so they could stay home to watch Game 7 between the Cavs and the Warriors.
That's two lockdowns in two months at the Cook County Jail. The first lockdown happened on Mother's Day, when 464 guards pulled the same stunt. No dollar figure has been attached to the Game 7 lockdown, but published reports point out that the Mother's Day mass "sick-call" cost Cook County over $75,000 in overtime.
From Illinois Policy:
Cara Smith, Cook County Sheriff’s Office chief of policy and communications, said there are roughly five times a year when guards call off in such high numbers that the jail has to lock down. “When we have significant numbers of call-offs, they coincide with three events. Sometimes those events coincide with each other: holidays, weather and sporting events.” Smith said there’s nothing the jail can do about the call-offs because so many workers are invoking the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, for reasons such as headaches and back pain.
“Thirty percent of our officers have FMLA coverage, and 90 percent of that number are permitted to use it intermittently,” Smith said. “It’s a very tricky problem and I don’t know that there’s any particularly successful way of dealing with it. You can ask for a doctor’s note if you suspect that the person wasn’t sick, but in large jails like the Cook County Jail, it’s a matter of scale.”
That's what happens in America. We love our moms and our NBA Finals. In Canada, they love fishing. They love it so much, they'll call in to places where they're not even employed to ask for the day off:
By the end of the call, this dude looked like he actually believed that he worked there.