How to deal with a boss who gets angry when you call in sick

How to deal with a boss who gets angry when you call in sick

Calling in sick can be very stressful on an employee. People experience severe anxiety, and several questions come to to mind.

  • “Is my boss going to fire me for missing a day?”
  • “Will my work get done?”
  • “Will they believe that I am sick?”

These anxiety filled questions are made even worse when you are facing a manager or boss who will be very angry if you do call in sick.

There are ways to make things a bit easier when calling in sick:

  1. Know what the policy is for calling in sick

    When you take a job immediately ask what the policy is for calling in sick, or if you are in a job and you aren’t sure, ask for the policy. Most places, even small companies, have specific ways they want you to call in sick. It may be you have to give so many hours notice. It may be you have to call and speak to someone specific. Whatever the policy is, be sure to adhere to it if possible.

  2. Don’t take it personally

    If you are legitimately sick and you have a fever, a bad cold, or other illness, it’s not good to go into work. If you call in and your boss starts arguing with you, don’t take it personally. Worrying all day while you’re out sick is not going to help you get better any quicker. Sometimes it’s difficult to ‘not worry’ but try your best to relax, rest and recuperate, and remember you are sparing your coworkers from potential illness.

  3. Remember doctor’s notes must protect your privacy

    If you have to get a doctor’s note, remember that you don’t have to have your illness listed. HIPAA laws in the United States protect your medical privacy. If your boss tells you that you need a doctor’s note when calling in sick, simply have your doctor fill out a note stating you were seen, the date you were seen, and the date you can return to work.

  4. Don’t add fuel to the fire by arguing or trying to prove a point

    If your boss continues to give you a hard time about calling in sick, like yelling at you or accusing you of being unreliable, simply tell your boss that you are sick and you’ll provide them with a doctor’s note as soon as possible. If the situation gets uncontrollable and you are being harassed, don’t hesitate to call the HR department or your manager’s superior and let them know what’s going on. This covers your bases. If your boss is the business owner, document your communication. If you are terminated from your job, you may be asked for documentation.

  5. Send updates as much as possible

    For example, telling your boss something like “I am feeling better today and I am going to try and get back to work tomorrow” will possibly make your boss feel like you are doing your best to communicate and it may even be appreciated.