Taking Leave

If you're considering taking leave from work, it's best to understand company policy and know your rights first.

Using sick days

Scenario:
While at work on a Tuesday morning, you notice that you're beginning to get a headache. You take some aspirin and hope it goes away. By lunch, your headache has gotten worse and you're beginning to get body aches, accompanied by the beginnings of a sore throat. At the end of the day, you drag yourself home, take some more aspirin, and go to bed early. On Wednesday morning, you wake up showing the same symptoms, except now you're congested as well. Do you call in sick?

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether you should call in sick.

Before you call in sick, consider the following:

  • Do you have sick benefits? If so, how much sick time do you have?
  • How sick are you?
  • Do you need to see a doctor in order to get better?
  • Do you have an illness that's contagious, such as the flu or pink eye?
  • If you go to work, is there a chance that you may get even sicker and may have to miss more than one day of work?
  • If you went to work, would you be unproductive due to the illness?
  • Can you take over-the-counter or prescription medication that will make you feel better?
  • If you do not have sick benefits, can you afford to miss a day's pay?
  • Are there any consequences that might result from taking a sick day?

If you have decided to stay home sick, do the following before you call your supervisor:

  • Figure out whether you have any work that someone will have to do for you.
  • Review your employer's procedure for calling in sick.

When you speak to your supervisor:

  • Tell your supervisor you're not feeling well and need to take the day off.
  • Inform your supervisor of any responsibilities that will need to get accomplished by another coworker.