If you're considering taking leave from work, it's best to understand company policy and know your rights first.
General guidelines for using sick time
- Use it only when necessary.
It can be tempting to use your sick days when you're feeling slightly run down or work-weary. Resist the temptation to call in sick under these circumstances. You never know when you'll get an illness that causes you to be out of work for several days. In many organizations, it's considered unprofessional to use all of the sick days allotted to you.
- Know how much sick time you have.
Think twice before you decide to use a sick day. Again, you never know when you may need them.
- Know the procedure for calling in sick.
If you will be out of work due to illness, make sure to follow your employer's sick policy and procedure. There is no excuse for not calling your supervisor when you're sick. In an emergency, make sure a family member contacts your employer.
- Some employers prefer you to call in sick, while others don't.
Some employers will send you home the minute you show up at work with a cold, while others don't expect you to ever use sick days that are allotted to you. Most employers' policies fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Always use good judgment when using sick days.