Procedures for Calling in Sick

There should be no greater concern to a person recuperating from illness or disease than his own personal health, but work responsibilities are an important concern that need to be addressed. If a worker feels too sick to work, he should stay home, but there are a number of procedures to follow, many of which are unwritten, to make sure that supervisors are shown the utmost courtesy. Calling as soon as you feel sick and presenting a doctor's note are two steps a worker can take to call in sick properly.


When to Call

Employers with a sick leave policy indicate the circumstances during which an employee should call off work sick in the best interests of all parties. An employee is usually cleared to utilize sick leave when an illness or injury makes it impossible for her to work, if she has a scheduled medical appointment or if a family emergency arises. The amount of sick time that an employee accrues each year depends on the sick pay policy of the employer


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Whom to Call

Generally, an employee who is calling in sick only needs to get in touch with his direct supervisor, letting him know about the issue and answering any questions that he might have. Whenever possible, the sick employee should call directly and should make the call before his shift starts. Some larger employers, such as school districts and universities, use an automated sick leave hot line that employees can reach by calling a phone number.


No Sick Time

Even when an employee's sick leave has been exhausted before the end of the calendar year, she can still miss work for qualified health issues. When an employee without sick leave calls in sick, the time is generally deducted from that year's vacation leave. If a worker uses up her vacation leave, any personal or holiday leave is utilized next. Workers without sick time who need a temporary reduction in their full-time schedules only need to provide certification from a doctor.



If you're having trouble deciding whether to call in sick for your current health issue, considering a few different consequences will help you make the best choice. Sometimes employees cannot afford to take a day off from work, especially in jobs where employers don't offer paid sick leave. If you have a few days of sick leave and the end of the year is approaching, using the sick leave before it expires is a good idea. Although it's hard for an employer to fire an employee for calling in sick, an employee should be courteous and notify his supervisor as soon as a conflict arises, especially for scheduled medical appointments.