Many employers are understanding when it comes to family emergencies that arise unexpectedly and interrupt one’s work day.
However, many employers are also strict about missing time from work – especially if you take time off randomly on a regular basis.
Therefore, it is important to have an understanding of your employer’s criteria for missing work and know how to present your situation when asking for time off.
We discuss common family emergencies that warrant time off and how to notify your boss below.
What Constitutes As A Family Emergency?
Typically, a family emergency is something that occurs unexpectedly and affects the health or safety of your family members, such as your parents, children, or spouse.
Common family emergencies in this category can include car accidents, sick children, or a death in the family.
Death Of A Loved One
Employers usually understand when a loved one passes away and will not give you hard time about taking some time off for bereavement.
However, it is still important to notify your boss of why you need time off and how much time you need before returning to work.
Most employer policy manuals will specify how much time off is warranted for a family death based on the relationship between the worker and the deceased.
Car accidents are another common reasons for missing work and can qualify as a family emergency under certain circumstances.
If a loved one is involved in a serious car accident and suffers serious injuries, then you may be able to take time off from work to attend to that individual.
Additionally, if a dependent (such as your child or mother) is involved in an auto accident then employers will often allow you leave work in order to help handle the situation.
Similarly, you may need to take the day off to attend to a sick child who needs to stay home from school.
While most employers are typically understanding in this situation, some employers may give you a hard time.
How To Request Time Off For Family Matters
Regardless of the reason, you should know how to best present your situation to your boss when asking to take time off for a family emergency.
When Leaving Work Early
If you have to leave work in the middle of the workday due to an unexpected situation, honesty is your best policy.
Be upfront with your boss or supervisor as to what is happening and how long you anticipate being out of work. In some situations where you can return to work on the same day, it may be in your best interest to return to the office as soon as you can.
Be Prepared To Provide Verification
While many people miss work for legitimate family emergencies, there is also a tendency to use family emergencies as an excuse to get unscheduled time off.
Many employers are given bogus emergency excuse so often that they begin to become suspicious of missed work days and may require some verifiable proof as to the nature of your emergency.
Be prepared to provide whatever information your employer needs to justify your leave from work. This will help protect your job and assure your boss you are not taking advantage of your position.