can an employer say ‘no’ to me calling out sick?
i work in a chain retail store and i messaged my manager today about 6 hours before my shift letting her know i wasn’t feeling well, and couldn’t come in to work.
she told me i need to find someone to cover me or come in to work. i asked everyone available if they could cover for me, and not a single person responded.
i let my manager know about the situation, and her only response was “sorry, we need the coverage so you’ll need to come in”. so now im on my way to work, with a blinding migraine.
is this..allowed? i’ve never had a job do this before, i’ve always just been able to call in sick if i need to.
this is the second time this exact thing has happened, the last time it happened i had covid and was still told to come in for the day, again because we “need the coverage”.
the whole thing just doesn’t sit well with me. i understand lack of coverage can be difficult, but as an employee (meaning not in any manager/supervisory role) that isn’t something i should have to feel responsible for.
- “I am sick and will not be coming in. Coverage? You’re the manager, you get paid more than I do, you figure it out. Not my job.”
If I’m sick enough to be calling in, I’m not going in, end of story. Fire me if you want, too sick to care anyway, and you just proved I was gonna have to quit sooner or later because you and your job suck. Better sooner.
- The next time they ask you to cover your own shift, tell them that fixing scheduling issues aren’t part of your job description.
They can say no to you calling out, but they can’t force you to come in.
- The line I used to use was “You’re a manager, I’m sure you’ll manage” until they fired me for insubordination (I was also barred from using the phrase “Sorry, that’s above my pay grade”).