Best Reasons for Calling in Sick or Not Going to Work

This blog list covers the best reasons for calling in sick or not going to work. It also outlines a few poor and even the worst excuses for missing work. Finally, the article offers general tips and suggestions for missing work and specific ones when calling in sick. 

Best Reasons for Calling in Sick

The following is a list of the best reasons for calling in sick.

  • Contagiousness
  • Doctor’s Appointment
  • Productivity Impairment
  • Pregnancy
  • Hospitalization
  • Diagnosed Condition


If your sickness is a contagious one, you not only need to protect yourself but also your co-workers, clients, and the general public. Therefore, isolating yourself by staying home and calling is sick is valid and wise. It will allow you time to recuperate and come back to work with increased productivity. 

Doctor’s Appointment

Several companies allow you to take sick leaves for planned and non-emergent visits to the doctor. It shows that you care and are proactive about managing your health. It will also decrease the probability of you calling in sick in the future.  

Productivity Impairment

If you are sick or injured and impairs your productivity, most companies will see this as a valid reason for calling in sick. If your sickness continues and your physician recommends you to be bed-ridden, you can request sick leave. It will also benefit the company in that they are typically unappreciative and discouraging of reduced productivity and efficiency. Organizations would somewhat recover and come back with increased efficacy.


Pregnancy and delivery are typically protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for absenteeism regarding prenatal care and recuperation post-child-labor if the company does not offer paid parental leave. However, many organizations consider pregnancy-related issues a valid excuse to call in sick. 


Having a health concern, including mental health issues, that require hospitalization allows you to call in sick. If your hospitalization is for an extended period beyond your sick leave permissions, your organization might provide unpaid leave. 

Diagnosed Condition

If you have a diagnosed health condition, although you are not required to disclose this information, it could allow you to seek protection from the ADA if it meets the requirement of being considered a disability, physical or psychological. Otherwise, you risk getting fired for your mental health condition or even a biological concern.  

You can also request reasonable accommodations for your disability to minimize the risk of absenteeism. If you have an ongoing condition like anxiety or chronic headaches, you could lay out potential instances of calling in sick, and your boss could consider these as sick leaves. 

Best Reasons for Not Going to Work

Besides illness, the following is a list of the best reasons for not going to work.

  • Babysit
  • Family Emergency
  • Child’s Sickness
  • Delivery
  • House Emergency
  • Blood Donation


When you have children, and the babysitter or daycare center cancels suddenly, you cannot leave your babies alone at home. Therefore, you can ask to work from home or excuse yourself from working altogether. Your boss most probably will understand as it is a genuine reason.

Family Emergency

If your child is sick, you can miss work as most companies are tolerant of such familial emergencies. Children’s sicknesses typically require more time and attention, making it a valid excuse.  

You may also not go to work if your partner or another immediate family member has a severe health concern. Remember that you need to maintain plausibility, so it is best to avoid lying about such matters and ensure you do not involve your extended relatives, like your cousin or aunt. 


The delivery of significant items, such as furniture or kitchen equipment like refrigerators, can call for the need for someone being at home to receive the product. Moreover, it is understandable that the delivery time cannot always happen outside of the office timings. Therefore, this excuse is considered a genuine one for not going to work.  

House Emergency

If there is an emergency related to household things, such as a fire, flooded bathroom, or short circuit, your company will likely understand that. 

Blood Donation

People usually are drained of energy upon blood donation. Therefore, you can excuse yourself from going to work after donating blood. Moreover, as blood donation is considered a noble gesture, your supervisor is unlikely to counter or ask follow-up questions. 

You can simply say, “I have been requested to donate blood at X time today, so is it okay if I do not come in for work or work from home after that?”

Poor Excuses for Missing Work

The following is a list of poor excuses for missing work. 

  • Partying
  • Death
  • Transport Issues
  • Tiredness


If you are hungover, it is not your company’s responsibility to clear your mess and compensate for your carelessness of partying on a work night. Instead of excusing yourself from work, take a shower, have a strong cup of coffee, go to work, and tell yourself you will commit such an irresponsible act the next time. 


It is one thing to not go to work because you need to take care of an ill family member. It is an entirely different deal if you lie about somebody’s death. There have been instances when employees have excused themselves from work while accidentally quoting the reason as the same relative’s death a second time.  

Transport Issues

If your car breaks down, quoting this as an excuse will be frowned upon by your employer as nowadays you can hail taxis at the touch of a button. The public transportation system is also efficient and easily accessible. 


Tiredness is something almost everybody experiences. Sometimes, you just do not want to go to work. However, you can state this as the reason for excusing yourself from work. 

However, if you always feel tired or fatigued and lack energy, there may be an underlying condition, such as depression. It is best to seek professional help in such instances.

The Worst Excuses for Missing Work

The worse excuses for missing work are given as follows.

  • Job-Hunt
  • Bizarre Stories
  • Care-Taking


Even if you are looking for a job, saying this to your employer as a reason for missing work is a terrible idea. It shows a lack of commitment to your boss and might entail severe repercussions as you may rub on their wrong side. In these cases, calling in sick for work is better than saying you are looking to leave their company for another.

Bizarre Stories

The more outrageous a story, the higher the chance of your employer not believing your reason. For instance, if you talk about jury duty or an outlandish accident.  


As mentioned earlier, stating that you need to take care of an immediate family member is excusable. However, telling your boss that you will not come in for work because you need to take care of your distant relative or friend will be a horrible mistake. 

General Tips and Suggestions

If you plan on missing work and need to explain yourself to your boss, keep in mind the following tips and suggestions.

  • Be honest
  • Have a plausible reason
  • Provide just enough explanation
  • Have a plan
  • Understand sick leaves and keep track of yours
  • Identify signs and symptoms
  • Request flexibility 

Be honest

Honesty is crucial when you want to excuse yourself from work. If you are making up a reason not to go to your office, understand why you are doing that. 

Stress and professional burnout are not uncommon, and you can have a conversation about the same with your boss. If your dissatisfied with your work or workplace, consider changing careers or moving to another organization. 

Have a plausible reason

Plausibility is another vital element while giving reasons for not going to work. No matter the excuse – genuine or made-up, you need to sound believable.  

Provide just enough explanation

People sometimes have the urge to overshare information regarding their personal, medical, or legal issues. Tell your boss just enough to pardon yourself from coming in instead of providing them with every last detail. 

Have a plan

Before informing your boss of a sudden leave, be prepared—plan on how you will navigate any urgent or pending work. Call your colleague or teammate and request them to fill in wherever necessary, and be sure to be grateful to them while doing so. Likewise, if there is an important meeting or discussion, ensure that you send all the necessary material to the person in charge.

Having a plan shows responsibility, dedication, and commitment, making your boss more likely to permit you to stay at home. It also increases your credibility and saves your organization any last-minute hassles. 

Understand sick leaves and keep track of yours

Be aware of what your company considers a sick leave and the rules for conveying absenteeism. Further, if there is a cap on the number of sick leaves you can avail, keep track of yours to ensure you are well within your limits so that you can avoid any severe repercussions. 

Identify signs and symptoms

When you are unsure about calling in sick, recognize the signs of an impending illness. Check with your family physician if necessary. Such clarity in information is required for your decision-making and communication to your employer.

Request flexibility

Instead of entirely skipping work, you can consider requesting flexible options, such as working for a few hours or from home. It is better to ask for work-from-home in case of an illness. 


This blog list touched upon the best reasons for calling in sick or not going to work. It also outlined a few bad and even the worst excuses for missing work. Finally, the article offered general tips and suggestions for skipping work and calling in sick. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Best Reasons for Calling in Sick or Not Going to Work

Which is the best reason to give while missing work?

An honest reason is the best one you can give while missing work. You can miss work when you need some time off to recuperate mentally, are battling a physical ailment, have a household emergency, or anything plausible and real. Other reasons, such as tiredness, a minor injury, or a little cough, are not valid excuses to miss work.

What should you do when you fall sick at work?

If you fall sick while at work, ensure you physically distance yourself from your colleagues and the general public. Try excusing yourself from work and get home at the earliest. Stay at home for the next few days or until you feel better if your sickness is contagious. 

Can your company fire you for calling in sick?

Several states follow an “at-will” employment scheme, wherein the company can fire you for any reason barring illegal ones, such as discrimination against race, sexuality, or religion. Therefore, they can fire you for calling in sick unless your disability is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

How should you inform your boss when you wish to miss work?

Inform your boss within a sentence or two regarding why you will be missing work on a sudden basis. Request your co-worker to attend to any emergency on your behalf and assure your boss that you have no pressing work currently or that you can deal with anything of concern from home. Ensure you sound responsible and decisive.  


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