Valid Reasons to Call Out of Work

Valid Reasons to Call Out of Work

Draven Jackson
Blogger | Teacher

If you’re anything like me, then having to call out of work can be a stressful or anxiety-filled situation. Even when I’m incredibly ill and every bone in my body hurts, I still feel like it’s my responsibility to always make sure I can go to work. However, more often than not this just leaves me more sick, tired, and burnt out than I would have been had I just taken the day to rest.

Even though it may seem like a negative situation, everyone has to call out of work sometimes. Whether it is an illness, the loss of a loved one, or an unexpected emergency, sometimes there are situations that arise in life that we simply can’t account for. Don’t be afraid to take time off to care for yourself and your family’s needs – people are usually more understanding than you think they will be.


Valid Reasons to Call Out of WorkWork is important (this is a known truth), but your physical health is also incredibly important, which is why it’s completely okay to call out of work if you’re feeling sick. For one thing, you should never sacrifice your own physical well-being for your job. Working while you’re feeling sick and trying to “push through” your illness won’t help you heal – more often than not, it will simply make you even more sick and it will be difficult to get well quickly.

There is nothing so important that you should risk your personal health to get it done. While it is true that being part of a work team means upholding your part and fulfilling your responsibilities, your team can manage without you if you’re feeling too sick to take care of your duties. Not to mention you won’t be much help to them if you run yourself into the ground and end up in a worse condition. With that in mind, the next time you’re feeling sick or ill remind yourself that your well-being comes first and your job will be just fine if you call out and take the day to heal.


Everyone knows that the loss of a loved one is a devastating situation, and no one will fault you if you need to call out of work to mourn their passing. It’s important to recognize that your emotional and mental health are just as important as your physical health – if you would take care of your body when it’s not at its best, then you should be willing to take care of your mind and heart, too.

Almost everyone has lost someone important to them, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your boss or coworkers if you’re mourning to ask them for time off to take care of your emotions. More often than not, they will understand the situation and will give you the time you need. Calling in to ask for the day off after a traumatic situation doesn’t make you a bad person or a negligent worker – it simply makes you human.


Life is full of unexpected situations, and sometimes those things may interfere with your ability to fulfill your work responsibilities. Whether it’s car trouble, a sick child, or emergencies at home (such as a broken pipe or fire), you are well within your rights as a person to call out of work in order to take care of these emergencies. Your work is important, and it’s important that you fulfill your duties as part of a team, but things happen sometimes that you may need to take care of and that’s completely okay.

While it may not be good form to call out for things that you knew about in advance – such as planned doctor’s appointments or moving – some things in life are unavoidable. There’s no way for you to know ahead of time that your child is going to wake up sick or that there’s a problem in your home that needs to be dealt with immediately. It’s understandable that when these things happen, you might need to take the day off to deal with them. Don’t beat yourself up or put yourself down for needing to handle the emergencies in your life – you are only one person doing the best you can, and that’s more than good enough.

Mental Health Days

We’ve talked about your physical health and your emotional health, but what about mental health? What about when days are so bad that you wake up with barely enough energy to get out of bed, let alone pull an 8 (or more) hour day at work? If you’ve ever woken up in a state where the mere idea of going to work makes you feel panicked and sick, then maybe it’s time to call out for a mental health day. Though it may seem silly to some – if there’s nothing physically wrong with you, why take the day off? – your mental health needs are just as important as your physical health, and you won’t be able to do a good job if you aren’t taking care of your mind as well as your body.

Mental health needs are finally beginning to get the recognition and awareness they deserve, and it’s important that we teach people that taking care of their mental health does not make them a burden on others. While you may not want to call out once a week for a mental health day as it may prove to make work difficult for your colleagues, taking a day every once in a while simply to take a breath and check in with yourself is more than understandable. Burnout will make you less motivated and unable to do your job in the long run, so avoiding burnout by taking the time to take care of your mental health needs will prove to benefit you more than you might realize.

Last Minute Appointments / Family Needs

Much like emergencies, you can’t always decide when last-minute appointments or family needs will come up. If you have a family, your family’s emergencies are your emergencies and therefore may merit a situation where you need to call out of work. I’ve had to call work and ask for the day off before in order to take care of sick loved ones who needed my help – sometimes these kinds of situations are unavoidable, and it’s okay to take the time to handle your and your family’s needs.

There may also be times when you’ve had appointments planned for a future date that have needed to be changed last minute. For example, when seemingly small health problems suddenly become much bigger issues, you may need to move up a future appointment to make sure your body or mind are okay. In this case, it’s understandable that you may have to call out from work in order to take care of yourself and your needs.

While calling out last minute can be a difficult situation where you may feel a sense of guilt over burdening someone else or not upholding your responsibilities, remember that at the end of the day, you are only human and doing the absolute best you can. You won’t always get it right, and you may not always make everyone happy, but honestly – that’s okay. Cut yourself some slack and remember that you’re one person and can only do so much.

What do you think are valid reasons to call out of work? Tell us in the comments!

Draven Jackson HeadshotAbout Draven Jackson

Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.

To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.

19 Comments on “Valid Reasons to Call Out of Work”

  1. I agree with calling off when you’re not feeling well and not only can it hurt your performance at work, but it can also put others at risk as well, by getting others sick too. It is very important to take time off for your well being.

  2. I used to have a hard time calling out of work whether I was sick or something came up. I felt like the boss would think I’m lying or co-workers would gossip. I’ve seen other co-workers abuse calling out or just not call. I receive paid sick/personal/vacation days and utilize them now at my discretion.

  3. I have worked at only as many employers I can barely countvon obe hand that would be aligned with this. I say too bad.

  4. I wish more employers understood the importance of mental health days. There shld be at least 3 a year. I’m not saying they have to be paid ( not that I don’t think they shld be) but at least excused days off.

  5. I completely agree on mental health days – as long as it’s not abused . I wish more employers would recognize that they’re important – very occasionally!

  6. It’s good to have mental health days , but some people just call off every Sunday during football season .

  7. At my job, my manager had a one day, no questions asked day. Nobody ever tried to abuse it and it was nice to have incase you really needed it.

  8. I’m no a big proponent for calling in for “just because” but sometimes you just have to do you. If moms not going, nobodys going to be good.

  9. I’m grateful to work for an understanding organization that doesn’t give me grief for calling out when I need to

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