How to Call Out of Work (11 Best Excuses with Examples) (2022)

“I need a good excuse to get out of work!”

Last-minute schedule changes, personal commitments, and lazy days often lead to missing work (or playing hooky).

Here are the best excuses for work (call in or leave work early.)

How to Call Out of Work (11 Best Excuses with Examples) (1)

excuses to get out of work

Questions Answered

  • 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?

How to Call Out of Work (11 Best Excuses with Examples) (2)

Last-minute schedule changes, personal commitments, and lazy days all have one thing in common: they often lead to time away from work.

How to Call Out of Work (11 Best Excuses with Examples) (3)

(Video) Great Excuses For Missing Work [With Examples]

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, which is why we came up with a list of the best excuses for missing work (or leaving early).

Keep a few of these reminders front of mind when calling into work. Be brief, let them know how you can be reached, apologize for any inconveniences, and fill your manager in on what you were doing that day. This will help soften the blow!

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.

The babysitter/daycare might have "canceled" last minute, which provides an open invitation to work from home or call in for the day.

Examples:

  • "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. If you own a house (or rent), you know that household issues are a fairly common occurrence and also a great excuse to leave work.

They don't typically warrant any deeper questioning from a manager, either.

Examples:

  • "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.

This should go without saying, but DO NOT use any kid-related reasons if you don't have any children.

Examples:

  • "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. Mention the delivery was scheduled for (insert time here), and you need to sign to accept.

Note: Your boss might suggest shipping goods directly to the office next time to prevent you from missing work.

Examples:

  • "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.

work Excuse #5 | You’re Having Car Trouble

In my opinion, this is one of the best excuses for being late to work. It's by far the easiest and most utilized excuse most people use (unless you take other means of transportation, of course).

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Let them know your car didn't start in the morning, and you are currently bringing it into the shop. Since you don't have a method to get into work, you can request to stay at home.

Examples:

  • "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 | Calling in Sick (Personal)

From the flu to uncomfortable cramps during a menstrual period, feeling under the weather is a pretty 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.

Examples:

  • "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 getting worse. 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.

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.

Examples:

  • "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.

This is a great excuse to miss work on short notice. Your manager will likely understand seeing it would be extremely difficult to perform your job feeling that way.

Examples:

work Excuse #9 | You Have a Medical Appointment

Medical appointments are a necessary part of everyones lives. Unfortunately, it can often be tough to find an appointment slot outside of your typical 9-5 work hours.

Managers tend to know and understand the difficulties when it comes to medical appointments so they are fairly lenient on missing time when it comes to them.

Example:

  • "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.”

work Excuse #10 | Exposure to Covid

Contagious illnesses, such as covid, are almost always a good excuse to stay home from work. Most employers don’t want this spreading throughout the workplace so they will often tell you to stay home - even if you have only been exposed.

Over the last few years, many employers have developed policies around the handling of covid in the workplace - check to see if your organization has something in place first.

Example:

  • "My husband is staying home from work today because he has covid. I have obviously 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.”

work Excuse #11 | Caring for a sick Pet

Many pet owners see their dogs and cats as an important part of their family.

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 manager also has a pet of some sort and will understand where you are coming from.

Examples:

  • "Pickles wasn’t able to keep anything down last night and isn’t looking great right now. I’m going to take him into the vet to get checked out and likely stay at home to keep an eye on him the rest of the day.”

Text and Email Examples

how to call out of work Text Examples

  • “Hi (Manager Name). I woke up not feeling well and will be staying home from work today. I'll keep you in the loop, as I'm hoping to feel better by tomorrow.”

  • “Hi (Manager Name). I'm not feeling well this morning, and I 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.”

How to Call out of work Email Example

Hi (Manager Name),

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Sorry for the late notice, but I woke up not feeling well this morning and will be taking a sick day to get better. I'm hoping to be back in by tomorrow but will keep you updated if I'm not feeling any better.

Feel free to reach out if anything urgent comes up.

Thank you,

(Name)

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.

In many states, employment is considered "at will," 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 in place that says otherwise (at least in most cases).

Fortunately, there are some notable exceptions. - thebalancecareers.com

Do you have to give a reason for calling off work?

So, 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 you expect to return.

The employer also has the right to ask you to require a doctors note following a work related illness or injury.

How do you Fake Sick at Work?

While we don’t recommend it, sometimes you need to fake sick in the workplace. Here are some ways to fake sick at work from WikiHow.

  • Fake a Fever

    • Make your face hot and sweaty

    • Cover yourself with many layers of clothes and blankets.

  • Fake Upset Stomach

    • Display a decline in appetite

    • Keep a bowl or bucket by you

    • Spend more time in the bathroom

    • Pretend to throw up

  • Fake a Cold or Flu

    • Breathe only through your mouth

    • Fake sneezing or coughing

Are there excuses to avoid when calling into work?

These are some techniques for calling into work that are considered unprofessional and could even get you fired from your job. Here are a few excuses you don't want to use when asking for a day off:

  • You are hungover.

  • You are tired.

  • You have a haircut appointment.

  • You forgot you had to work that day.

  • You are going camping.

  • You are having a bad hair day.

  • You simply forgot.

  • You don’t feel like it.

What qualifies as a family emergency?

Family emergencies are typically listed as an unexpected event or situation that affects the health and/or safety of direct family members (children, spouse, etc.).

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Two examples include serious illnesses or car accidents.

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Wrapping Up | Excuses to get 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. To recap our favorites excuses:

  • No babysitter

  • Emergency at home

  • Calling in sick (family)

  • Calling in sick (personal)

  • Waiting on an important 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.

If you can, be straightforward with your manager and let them know the truth. It is equally important to step away from work and take care of yourself. If you are overwhelmed or work is taking a toll on your everyday life, tell them the truth and address it before it gets out of control.

While you’re out, stay connected with your team so you have the information needed to get back to work when the time comes (if possible).

It’s important to work hard and catch up on any projects that may have been delayed during your absence. This shows your manager that you are still committed to your job.

If this becomes a daily occurrence, it might be time to prep your resume and search for something new!

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 Get Out of Work

Category: theGuidance

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FAQs

How to Call Out of Work (11 Best Excuses with Examples)? ›

how to call out of work Text Examples
  1. “Hi (Manager Name). I woke up not feeling well and will be staying home from work today. I'll keep you in the loop, as I'm hoping to feel better by tomorrow.”
  2. “Hi (Manager Name). I'm not feeling well this morning, and I need to use a sick day.
Jun 22, 2022

What is the best excuse to miss work? ›

Good Excuses To Miss Work
  1. Car (or Other) Accident. Accidents are unexpected events and usually qualify as legitimate requests for sudden leave, especially if serious injuries are involved. ...
  2. Death of a Loved One. ...
  3. Personal Illness. ...
  4. Child's Illness. ...
  5. Emergency. ...
  6. Car Problems. ...
  7. Medical Appointments. ...
  8. Miscellaneous Absences.

What is a good excuse to call out of work last minute? ›

A family emergency is one of the best reasons to call out of work because you usually won't face many follow-up questions and won't have to go into too much detail. The typical boss will quickly accept this excuse to miss work without much questioning or doubt.

What excuses can I use to call out of work? ›

9 Legitimate Reasons to Call Out of Work
  • You're Sick. ...
  • You Have a Doctor's Appointment. ...
  • You Have a Family Emergency. ...
  • You Suffer a Loss. ...
  • You Have a Household Emergency. ...
  • You Need a Mental Health Day. ...
  • You're Experiencing Bad Weather. ...
  • You're Interviewing for Another Job.

What's a good call in sick excuse? ›

The survey found that flu is the most widely accepted excuse for staying home, although just about 42 percent of bosses thought it was necessary to do so. Next up were back pains, accident-related injuries, and stress. These are the top 10 reasons for calling in sick, in order from most acceptable to least.

How do I tell my boss I can't come in? ›

Here are a few ways to tell your manager that you're unavailable to pick up additional shifts:
  1. "Unfortunately, I already have plans during that time. ...
  2. "I'm sorry, I'm going to be out of town with my family. ...
  3. "I'm unavailable during that time, but if you need any help on Saturday, feel free to let me know."

How do you say I am not coming to work today? ›

Hi (Manager's Name) , I'm emailing to inform you that I can't make it to work today, (Date) , as I've come down with a (your illness) . I'll be available to answer emails if you need urgent help, but (Co-worker's Name) will handle my workload today to ensure all deadlines are met.

What is a good fake family emergency? ›

There's an emergency

If your child's school has suddenly canceled or they are unexpectedly ill and you need to take care of them, those are good excuses for a family emergency.

How do you call off work examples? ›

Text and Email Examples
  1. “Hi (Manager Name). I woke up not feeling well and will be staying home from work today. I'll keep you in the loop, as I'm hoping to feel better by tomorrow.”
  2. “Hi (Manager Name). I'm not feeling well this morning, and I need to use a sick day. I'll be back tomorrow if I'm feeling any better.
Jun 22, 2022

How do you say can't work tomorrow? ›

I've come down with [sickness] and need to use a sick day today, but I'll be back at work tomorrow. I don't want to get anyone else in the office sick!” “I have [sickness] and will need to take the rest of the week off.

What is a good excuse to miss work for one day? ›

While employers generally prefer team members follow an attendance policy of scheduling preapproved time off, most also recognize the occasional need to miss work without advance notice. There are many reasons you might miss work, such as illness, family emergencies, transportation issues or important appointments.

What are good family emergency excuses? ›

Family or home emergency.

A family emergency can include your child getting sick, a car accident, an elderly family member's injury, an unexpected surgery, the death of a loved one, or any other urgent family matter.

What to say when you can't come to work? ›

Example 1: Writing an email for a personal emergency

I am writing to let you know I will be unable to come to work tomorrow. I had a small electrical fire in my kitchen and need to have a repair person and electrician come by in the afternoon.

How do you request last minute days off? ›

Follow these important steps to ensure you get a “yes!” and leave the office on the best possible note.
  1. Set Expectations Early. ...
  2. Tell Them as Soon as You Know. ...
  3. Allow Room for Discussion Later. ...
  4. Have a Plan to Do the Work. ...
  5. Don't Make It a Pattern. ...
  6. If You're Doing It in Person. ...
  7. If You're Doing It Over Email.
Jan 27, 2022

What is the best reason to take emergency leave? ›

There are straightforward situations such as being involved in a motor vehicle accident or the death of an immediate family member can be considered as a "reasonable excuse" for excuse without prior authorisation. A traffic accident is a reasonable excuse for an emergency absence.

How do you ask for a day off last minute? ›

Make sure your request is clear and without typos.
  1. First, say hello and clearly provide your request. For example, "Hi there, Sabrina. ...
  2. If you can't come in last-minute, be firm but apologetic. ...
  3. Clarify if you'll be using paid time off. ...
  4. Finally, thank your supervisor.
Mar 4, 2022

How do I call out of short notice? ›

Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice
  1. 01Unexplained Sickness. This is quick and somewhat flimsy excuse because it's overused, but for good reason. ...
  2. 02Lack of Childcare. ...
  3. 03Home Emergency. ...
  4. 04Sick Child. ...
  5. 05Purchase Delivery. ...
  6. 06Car Problems. ...
  7. 07Locked Out of Home. ...
  8. 08Menstrual Cramps.
Apr 2, 2019

How do you get something out of last minute? ›

7 expert tips for how to cancel plans last minute
  1. Accept that the validity of any excuse is always subjective. ...
  2. Make a phone call. ...
  3. Apologize upfront. ...
  4. If you have no real excuse, omit a reason rather than lying. ...
  5. Offer to reschedule. ...
  6. Avoid posting publicly on social media after you cancel.
Dec 16, 2021

What do you say when you call off work? ›

Text and Email Examples
  1. “Hi (Manager Name). I woke up not feeling well and will be staying home from work today. I'll keep you in the loop, as I'm hoping to feel better by tomorrow.”
  2. “Hi (Manager Name). I'm not feeling well this morning, and I need to use a sick day. I'll be back tomorrow if I'm feeling any better.
Jun 22, 2022

How do you take a day off for personal reasons? ›

Reasons to take a personal day
  1. You're moving. Moving takes time. ...
  2. You have a doctor's appointment. ...
  3. You have family obligations. ...
  4. You have a family emergency. ...
  5. You need a break. ...
  6. Communicate right away. ...
  7. Be aware of your company policy. ...
  8. Keep vacations in mind.
Jan 5, 2021

How do you call for a personal day? ›

Let someone know, as soon as you know you will be a no-show. "Something came up, it's personal, I'm sorry, I can't really talk about it. I should be back tomorrow". And express your apologies.

How do I tell my boss I need a personal day? ›

Compose an email to your manager

Asking for a personal day in-person is okay, but a formal email to your manager can ensure there is a document that proves your request. Make sure you review your company policies for communicating personal days as you may need to address it to HR or add it to your company calendar.

How do you call in sick examples? ›

I am sick with [the flu, a cold, strep throat, etc.] and my doctor has recommended taking [number] days off work to recover. I hope to be well enough to return on [date]. I have contacted my team by email with instructions for how to proceed in my absence.

What is a good reason to cancel? ›

Go see them. “I've had a really bad day.” Hopefully they don't go all supportive and want to talk you through it. “I went too hard last night.” They don't have to know that last night was spent in sweats with a large pizza all for you and your dog. “I got caught up at work.” A pretty boring excuse, but it works.

Is Cancelling plans rude? ›

Canceled plans can be inconsiderate and TBH disrespectful, especially if you're dealing with a repeat offender.

How do you apologize for last minute cancellation? ›

Let me know if either [date] or [date] works. If neither of those are good for you, please suggest a time, and I'll do my best to make it happen. Again, I apologize for the late notice. I was really looking forward to meeting and definitely want to get a new date on the calendar as soon as possible.

How do you text your boss you can't come in examples? ›

How do you text in sick examples?
  1. “I have [sickness] and will need to take a sick day today. ...
  2. “I'm really not feeling well today, so I don't think I will be able to do my job productively or efficiently. ...
  3. “I've come down with [sickness] and need to use a sick day today, but I'll be back at work tomorrow.
Aug 11, 2021

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