How to tell boss I’m taking sick leave

posted 1 year ago in Career
Post # 2
3420 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

wtrmln18 :  I would personally write an email. When I’m in that place where I’m so anxious and stressed, writing is easier for me. Inform them that your doctor told you to take a break, and then leave it at that. If you need to do it in person, go ahead and practice saying “Sorry, but I have to do this.” And remember how relieving it’s going to be to have time off to relax. You just have to press send, or walk out the door.

Post # 3
6450 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I would most certainly not tell them it is stress related. Too many people will not take that seriously, even with a written doctor’s note. However, due to confidentiality, the note probably does not say what the leave is for, so I would write them an email informing them that you need to take the time due to a health-related issue and fax over the note. If they ask you what the health issue is, tell them you would rather not discuss it.

And search for a new job while you are on leave.

Post # 4
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I would not mention the specific reason for your leave – just tell whoever needs to know that you’re having some time off for health reasons and leave it at that. 

Medical certificates usually just have dates and a vague “for a medical issue” listed as the reason, due to patient confidentiality laws. 

Post # 5
1978 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Absolutely mention its stress leave. Work places take stress leave so seriously 

Post # 6
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Send an email with the dr. note attached. 2 weeks for a vague medical issue generally means stress leave… in Aus/where I work you CANNOT attend work if you have a medical certificate, not sure if yours is the same?

Post # 7
11454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I would scan the physician’s note and send It via email to your boss with a cover email that says something along the lines of:

I have been experiencing some health issues, and my doctor has prescribed a two-week leave from work at this time. I’m sorry that my absence is occurring at a busy time for the rest of the office and regret any inconvenience this may cause.

I will be out from (list dates) and then will see my doctor for re-evaluation at that time.

Thank you.


Based on your company benefits plan, I would also say what type of (or combination of types of) paid leave you plan to use for this, if applicable (sick, vacation, personal), or, if you lack such benefits that you are requesting a medical leave of absence without pay (something I’ve had to do twice at my current job to accommodate surgeries, since we have such limited PTO.)

Also, if you’re in the US and may qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) now or later for this situation, it would be wise to file the paperwork for that once it would become applicable.


Post # 8
1581 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

Where do you live? Are there no laws to protect your rights for this stuff? I feel really badly for you that you can’t get the rest you need without a guilt trip. 

I think Brielle :  post above is perfect; don’t mention what but that you have health issues and you need to be off, no wiggle room. 

Post # 9
3184 posts
Sugar bee

Where I work, someone took FMLA for depression treatment. I know because I work in HR, but not sure her boss knows the reason why. Seems like you can do the same. Health issues don’t have timelines in mind, so I wouldn’t be concerned about it being busy season. 

Post # 10
9444 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Are you in the US and covered by FMLA? Do you have PTO you’re going to use to cover it?

Depending on where you live/if you’re coverd by FMLA, a doctor’s note may not be enough to keep your job if your employer is so inclined.

Post # 11
254 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I would send an email saying you’re taking medical leave from X date to Y date and attach the doctors note. Direct any questions to your doctor. Send to your HR rep and CC your boss.

In the US, if anyone from your job tries to contact you for work-related reasons while you’re on medical leave, you have the right to sue them. So companies are pretty serious whenever anyone says medical leave, and I expect they’d stay away and have no contact.

Take the time you need, bee!

ETA: Per PP above, you may want to call your HR rep and explain the situation. They will tell you about your company’s policy and what you’re eligible for.

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