When Is It Okay to Call Off Work?

Posted on 08/11 by Erin Helms

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Some workers will call out of work because they are unhappy at work, have a job interview elsewhere, or are tired. These are not acceptable reasons to call off work. However, sometimes the unexpected occurs, and you must call off work. Some reasons are professional, acceptable, and easy to explain. Here are a few legitimate reasons.

You Are Sick

Illness is a common reason for calling off work that most employers will not question. If you are ill, you are also doing co-workers a favor by not spreading your illness throughout the workplace. Near the end of the workday, check in with your supervisor to provide a health update. If you are still sick, it is acceptable to ask for another day off. If you do feel better, ask for permission to return to work.

Medical Appointments

If you have a medical appointment scheduled, explain to your boss that you scheduled the appointment months ago and must keep it. It is okay to be specific and say it is a planned yearly physical exam or dental checkup, but you can also remain vague. Do not forget to get a signed excuse in case your employer expects one upon your return.

Problems of a Personal Nature

This excuse is effective when you have personal issues you are uncomfortable discussing at the workplace. The option is yours if you want to add more details. Perhaps you are overwhelmed, a significant other is causing you problems, or you have issues that prevent you from being productive at work. If you find your boss asking further questions, explain that you are uncomfortable discussing it.

Home Deliveries

If you are having a delivery to your house, such as furniture or a critical document, you have a valid reason for not going to work. You must explain to your supervisor that the item is essential, and you must be home to ensure safe delivery. Your employer might request the delivery time and expect you to work half a day. If a firm delivery time is unknown, explain to your employer that the delivery time window is large and uncertain.

Family Emergency

Family emergencies are acceptable reasons for missing work. Your boss may ask for details, and you can provide them. It does not have to be detailed; you can say which family member is affected and leave it at that. Or you can give a vague explanation and state you respect the family member’s wishes by not going into details. 

Car Problems

If you trust your car for transportation to work, saying your car is having trouble and you do not feel secure driving to work is acceptable. Admit that you do not know the source of the problem. Your supervisor should understand your safety concerns.

School Closings

If the schools in your district are closed due to inclement weather and you have kids, use the school closure as a valid reason to call off work. Explain that you need to care for your kids, and you cannot secure a last-minute babysitter. Keep your supervisor updated on how long the closing will last and when you will return to work. LaborMAX can help put you to work with jobs that match your skills.

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