What Constitutes a Family Emergency?
A family emergency is something that happens unexpectedly. A family member gets into an accident and is taken to the hospital; there's a death in the family; a child needs to be picked up from school due to illness. This is the type of emergency that can happen suddenly, causing you to need to leave work immediately. Unfortunately, some of these excuses are used by employees that are not having a family emergency and sometimes, supervisors and managers may be suspicious when presented with these.
Death in the Family
It goes without saying that a death in the family constitutes a family emergency; however it is also an excuse that employees use over and over again until a supervisor or manager isn't sure if a death in the family is a true excuse or not. Most employers won't ask an employee to verify a death in the family, though sometimes it may depend on either the employee (if they tend to use as many excuses as they can to not show up for work) or managers (who may not sympathize with their employees no matter the situation).
Sudden deaths are usually discovered through a phone call, mostly from another family member, teacher, or friend. These calls will always come to the work line (which is usually listed as a contact number in case of emergency). When faced with this situation, notify supervisors or managers after receiving the call, in order to let them know you need to leave right away.
Sometimes a family illness can lead to an expected death, however this can still be treated as an emergency. Again, let your supervisor or manager know that you have had a death in the family and either need to leave at the moment or that you will need to take a few days off.
In both cases, make sure to keep in contact with your employer. If you are unable to give them a call, have someone else contact your company and give them an update on how things are going. This keeps everyone in the loop and provides the business the ability to fill your position temporarily until you are able to return back to work.
A minor emergency is a bit of an oxy-moron, as no emergency is ever minor to those it is happening to. Minor emergencies can be considered those that are not life threatening, such as a child becoming sick at school and needing to be picked up. These emergencies may still mean that you will need to leave work early. As with the above, notify your supervisor or manager that you need to leave and the reason. Depending on the situation, you may be able to return to work the same day or the next.
This situation depends on how sick the child may be, as well as the age. Smaller children will need to have a guardian in order to watch and take care of them; teenagers may be able to look after themselves. Depending on whether you will need to be with your child or not, this will affect you missing work or returning to it.
Ultimately, the best way to handle a family emergency and missing work is to be honest with your boss. Keep him or her updated when an emergency arises so that they are kept in the loop. This will make returning to work easier for both you and your work.
Image content @ Morgue File