Do’s and Don’ts For Calling in Sick

We all get an allotment of sick days, but the decision of when to use them is not always easy.  How many times have you found yourself sitting on your bed, phone in hand, trying to get up the nerve to make that call.  Here are some tips that will help you use your sick days in a way that won’t get you into trouble:

Do call early.  Always make the call at least fifteen minutes before your shift starts.  The earlier in the morning you call, the more time your manager has to cover your absence.

Do provide a clear reason for calling in sick.  Don’t be wishy-washy when calling in sick.  Instead of saying ,”I don’t think I’m feeling well enough to work today.”, say “I’ve been vomiting all morning and I won’t be coming in.” Be firm and don’t give them room to argue with you.

Do phone your supervisor.  Don’t email your manager or have someone else give them the message.  When you phone your manager directly, they are less likely to think that you’re lying.  It also allows them to address any concerns or ask any questions.

Don’t go to work sick.  Nobody wants your germs.  If you come in and someone else gets sick, they will blame you.

Don’t call in sick to attend a job interview.  If you get caught, you could lose your job.  Use a vacation day instead.

If you only use your sick days when you’re legitimately sick, your manager shouldn’t give you any grief about it.  Be direct with your employer, don’t play games, and go get some rest so that you’ll be ready for work tomorrow.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)


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