Many employers are pretty understanding when it comes to family emergencies that arise unexpectedly and interrupt one’s work day but many employers are also strict about missing time from work especially if you take time off randomly on a regular basis. It is important to have an understanding of your employer’s criteria for missing work hours due to a family emergency but it is also important to evaluate exactly what constitutes a family ‘emergency’ in the eyes of your employer.
Typically, a family emergency is on which occurs unexpectedly and affects the health and safety of your family members, namely your parents, children, or spouse. Some emergencies in this category can include car accidents, sick children, or a death in the family. Most employer policy manuals will specify how much time off is warranted for a family death based on the relationship of the worker and the deceased.
Ideally, if you have to miss work, leaving 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.
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 have been issued a bogus emergency excuse so often they begin to become suspicious of your 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.