The short answer is: “anytime.” But it can be a little more complicated than that. Often the more important factor is why and how. Keep in mind that every company has different procedures, and you should always be aware and informed about your employer’s policies. With that in mind, here are a few reasons why generally it would be okay to call out of work:
- If you have a sickness that may prevent you from doing your job or that may spread to your coworkers.
- Someone you’re responsible for, like a young child, is sick or injured and you are the only adult able to care for them.
- Unexpected/Emergency car trouble, only after you have exhausted all of your options to get be able to get to work, like a ride from a coworker, public transit, or using a rideshare app.
- Any other emergency or extenuating circumstance that may preclude you from safely or effectively doing your job.
Anytime you need to call out you should give your supervisor as much notice as possible before your shift begins, when possible you should contact your employer at least 2 hours before your shift so that they can plan and prepare for your absence. But regardless of these generalities, be mindful of your employer’s attendance policy and understand the consequence. When there is a reason you need to call out, the more notice and communication you can give to your supervisor the more likely they are to be able to accommodate your circumstances.
If you’re working a job that you’ve decided isn’t the right fit for you, and you’ve decided to quit, you should not call out. In this case, when you’ve decided you do not want to return to work, you should give notice to your supervisor. The best way to give notice of your resignation is in writing 48hr-2 weeks before your last scheduled shift and you should plan to continue working through that notice period. Doing this can help maintain a relationship with that company which could aid in future job searches.
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