How To Call Out Of Work
“I need a good excuse to get out of work!” Last-minute schedule changes, personal commitments, family emergencies, and the occasional lazy day often lead to missing work (or playing hooky).
If you need a valid reason to stay away from the office one day, here are our 11 best excuses to call out of work. We will also provide you with example emails and text messages to inform your boss that you will be off for the day.
- What are the best excuses to call into work? with examples
- Calling in sick text message example
- Calling in sick email example
- Can you get fired for calling in sick?
- Do you have to give a reason for calling off work?
- How do you fake sick at work?
- Are there excuses to avoid when calling into work?
- What qualifies as a family emergency?
Last-minute schedule changes, personal commitments, and lazy days all have one thing in common: they often lead to time away from work and a need to text in sick or with another valid excuse.
Having a sick kid or a pipe bursting in your house are legit reasons many of us occasionally use to skip work. But more times than not, calling into work is due to a hangover, oversleeping, or just wanting to play hooky.
So, what are you supposed to say when you call into work when “I overslept” or “I’m hungover” aren’t going to impress your boss?
Many people question their choice for calling out of work, so we devised a list of the best excuses for missing work (or leaving early). These excuses can be used whenever you have to make difficult calls to inform your boss that you will be out for the day.
Remember that these excuses should be used sparingly and only when you are truly feeling under the weather and need time off.
11 Best Excuses to Call out of Work (How to Call Out of Work)
Keep a few of these reminders front of mind when calling into work to make it a success. Be brief, let them know how you can be reached, apologize for any inconvenience, and fill your boss in on what you did that day. This will help soften the blow of your call-in sick text or email conversation!
work Excuse #1 | No Babysitter (or Daycare)
If you have children, take advantage of being a good parent who’s always looking out for them and call off a day of work.
The babysitter/daycare might have “canceled” last minute, which provides an open invitation to work from home or call in for the day. Your boss will likely understand when you take time off for your children.
- “My daycare notified us they are going to close today.”
- “My babysitter backed out last minute.”
work Excuse #2 | You Have an Emergency at Home
Issues happen, and things that CAN go wrong WILL go wrong no matter what day it is. If you own a house (or rent), you know that household issues are a fairly common occurrence and a great excuse to leave work a few minutes early. They don’t typically warrant any deeper questioning from a boss, either.
- “My basement flooded.”
- “The boiler broke, and we are having someone over to fix it.”
work Excuse #3 | Calling in Sick (Family Emergency)
We are dragging your kids into it again, I know! But seriously, children are always getting sick, so using this as an excuse works well for a work-sick day.
This should go without saying, but DO NOT use any kid-related reasons if you don’t have any children. But if you have children, they can provide plenty of opportunities to tell your boss that you are taking a sick day.
- “My child was sent home sick from school.”
- “My child has been under the weather the last few days, and I was hoping to stay home with them.”
work Excuse #4 | You Have a Delivery
With the delivery of specific packages (alcohol, expensive products, etc.), you often need to sign or accept in person.
This is one of the best excuses to leave work early if needed or take the entire day off. Mention the delivery was scheduled for (insert time here), and you need to sign to accept.
- “We have a shipment of____ coming in the mail today that I need to sign for.”
- “I’ve been waiting for ___ to show up, and FedEx says it should be arriving today. I’ll be out of the office right away but back in after the package arrives.”
“Millennials aged 18 to 34 are three times as unlikely as their older counterparts to take sick time due to financial concerns.”— LinkedIn
work Excuse #5 | You’re Having Car Trouble
In my opinion, this is one of the best excuses for being late for work. It’s by far the most accessible and most utilized excuse most people use (unless you take other means of transportation to work, of course).
Tell them your car didn’t start in the morning and you are bringing it into the shop. Since you don’t have a method to get to work, you can request to stay home and take the day off.
- “My car broke down, and it’s getting fixed. I’m going to work from the shop (or home) until they say it’s ready.”
- “I’m having a bit of car trouble this morning and won’t be able to make it in today.
work Excuse #6 | Sick Day (Personal)
From the flu to uncomfortable cramps during a menstrual period, feeling ill is a common excuse for calling in sick to work, especially on short notice. Managers won’t typically ask any follow-up questions, but if they do, feel free to make them uncomfortable with the dirty details of how you are feeling.
- “I’ve been feeling pretty sick since last night and don’t think I can make it in today.”
- “My ___ has been bothering me all night, and it’s only worsening. I won’t be making it in today, but I’ll be sure to keep you informed on how I’m feeling.“
work Excuse #7 | You’re Going to Donate Blood
People typically have very little energy after donating blood. Therefore, it’s one of the best excuses to leave work early or take the day off.
Since donating blood is such an amazing thing to do (seriously, do it if you can), your boss won’t likely ask any follow-up questions when you take the day off for a noble cause.
- “I’m scheduled to donate blood at ____ time today. Would you mind if I work from home after?”
- “There’s a blood drive this morning that I signed up for. I’ll probably finish my day at home after donating if that works for you?”
work Excuse #8 | You Have a Migraine
Migraines can be extremely severe – sometimes making it almost impossible to function, let alone stare at a computer screen all day. If you are feeling under the weather from a migraine, you can take sick leave and spend the day getting better.
This is a great excuse to miss work on short notice. Your supervisor will likely understand, seeing it would be tough to perform your job feeling that way.
- “I woke up with a migraine this morning. I tried to get ready for work, but the movement and light made things worse. I’m going to stay back today and rest – I’ll let you know how I’m feeling tomorrow morning.”
- “I struggled with a migraine late last night and couldn’t sleep. I’ve been trying to eliminate it, but I’m still not feeling great. I’m going to take the rest of the day off and rest – I’ll update you later this evening or tomorrow morning on how things are going.”
work Excuse #9 | You Have a Medical Appointment
Medical appointments are a necessary part of everyone’s lives. Unfortunately, finding an appointment slot outside your typical 9-5 work hours can often be challenging.
Managers tend to know and understand the difficulties when it comes to medical appointments, so they are pretty lenient on taking time off when it comes to them.
- “My dermatologist called this morning and said she could get me in today because of a cancellation. It has been tough trying to schedule a time since she’s so backed up, so I’m going to take advantage of this.”
- “I’ve been trying to get into my cardiologist over the last six months, and they finally called me with a canceled appointment slot that opened today. Since it has been difficult to get something scheduled, I’m going to take this opening this afternoon.”
Work Excuse #10 | Exposure to Covid (or Other Viruses)
Contagious illnesses, such as covid, are almost always an excellent excuse to stay home from work. Most employers don’t want this spreading throughout the workplace, so they often tell you to stay home if you are feeling sick – even if you have only been exposed.
Over the last few years, many employers have developed policies around handling covid in the workplace – check to see if your organization has something in place before you take sick leave for the day.
- “My husband is staying home from work today because he has covid. I have been in close contact with him the last few days, so I’m going to quarantine at home until I get my test results back.”
- “My daughter was sent home early from daycare yesterday afternoon because of an outbreak of covid in her class. She’s currently showing some symptoms, so I’m going to quarantine at home for today and see how she feels tomorrow.”
Work Excuse #11 | Caring for a Sick Pet
Many pet owners see their dogs and cats as an essential part of their family, so they can provide a great reason to take the day off.
When your pet is sick, and you don’t want to leave them alone for 8 hours, asking to work from home or simply taking care of them is a viable option.
With such a high number of pet owners today, it’s likely that your boss also has a pet of some sort and will understand where you are coming from when you ask for time off.
- “Pickles wasn’t able to keep anything down last night and isn’t looking great right now. I’m going to take him to the vet to get checked out and likely stay at home to keep an eye on him the rest of the day.”
- “My cat Winston hasn’t been doing great the last few days, and last night he took a turn for the worse. I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with him, but I’m going to bring him to the vet, then stay home to keep an eye on him the rest of the day.”
Text and Email Examples
Text Examples to Miss Work
Hi (Manager Name). I woke up not feeling well and will stay home from work today. I’ll keep you in the loop, as I hope to feel better by tomorrow.”
Hi (Manager Name). I’m not feeling well this morning and need to use a sick day. I’ll be back tomorrow if I’m feeling any better. Feel free to reach out if anything urgent comes up.
Email Example to Miss Work
Hi (Manager Name),
Sorry for the late notice, but I woke up not feeling well this morning and will take a sick day to get better. I hope to be back by tomorrow, but I will keep you updated if I’m not feeling any better.
Feel free to reach out if anything urgent comes up.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can You Get Fired for Calling in Sick?
The short answer is YES; you can be fired for calling in sick. Employment is considered “at will” in many states unless a signed contract sets out other conditions.
Employment at will means that you are legally free to quit without explanation at any time, and your employer can also fire you at any time without reason.
One practical result of at-will employment is that your boss is free to fire you for merely being sick unless you have an individual or union contract that says otherwise (at least in most cases). Fortunately, there are some notable exceptions. – thebalancecareers.com
Is it legal for an employer to ask why you are sick?
While there are no laws prohibiting employers from asking employees why they are calling into work, they are free to ask other questions, such as when they expect to return.
The employer also has the right to ask you to require a doctor’s note following a work-related illness or injury.
What qualifies as a family emergency?
Family emergencies are typically listed as unexpected event or situation that affects the health and safety of direct family members (children, spouse, etc.). Two examples include serious illnesses or car accidents.
Can you miss work because you are tired?
While mental health has become more discussed within the workplace, calling in that morning and letting your manager know you won’t be coming in because you’re tired might not fly well.
Instead, if you feel run down and tired from work, chat with your manager about your current workload to see if there’s an opportunity to dial things back. If you still need to take time off, It might be best to let them know a few days ahead so they are adequately staffed. Using a simple sick day is also a valid option here.
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Wrapping Up | Reasons to Call Out of Work
While lying to your employer is frowned upon, there will be days when you need a break from the daily grind of work, and there are several valid reasons to take the day off. To recap our favorites excuses for texting and calling out of work:
- No babysitter
- Emergency at home
- Calling in sick (family)
- Calling in sick (personal)
- Waiting on a crucial package
- Car trouble
- Donating blood
Whether you’re using your child to cover up a hangover or making up a mechanical problem to delay going to work, remember to use common sense along the way. Don’t let sick days and other excuses for not going to work become a habit.
While you’re off, stay connected with your team so you have the information needed to get back to work when the time comes (if possible). It’s essential to work hard and catch up on any projects that may have been delayed during your absence. This will show your boss that you are still committed to your job, even when you take the day off.
We hope this helps and wish you the best of luck in your career!
Note: If this becomes a daily occurrence, it might be time to prep your resume and search for something new! You can also get help from one of these top 11 staffing agencies or look into having your resume reviewed for free here.
Title: 11 Best Excuses to Miss Work
Tags: Calling in Sick, good excuses not to go to work, excuses to call into work, how to call in sick, excuses for work, excuses to leave work early, calling in sick reasons, reasons to call into work
Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He’s an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author. | Author Profile