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Say you had insomnia the other night and were able to fall asleep at 4, maybe 6, in the morning and there is almost no way you could go to work with that and perform. Would it be a valid reason to file for sick leave stating the above mentioned reason? Because I guess insomnia is a medical condition too.

The kinds of leaves I know off are casual, sick and annual. Now say, like alroc pointed out, you don't have to state that reason of your sickness and the company doesn't require it, and you had a rarely occurring sleepless night caused by insomnia. Would it be right to categorize the leave you took because of that, under "sick"ness?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by jmort253 Jul 11 '13 at 3:53

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I'm not sure why this is attracting close votes. This is a question I have wondered myself and suspect many other people have as well. –  enderland Jul 9 '13 at 11:34

3 Answers 3

Depends on the industrial laws in your jurisdiction, but I'd say being unfit for work classifies as sick leave. Your employer may require and be entitled to receive a medical certificate from your GP, so you may pro-actively like to go talk to your GP about it if insomnia is something you experience regularly.

I should also point out that being fatigued, which you certainly would be if severely sleep deprived, can be quite dangerous. The risk of having an accident while driving, operating machinery or even crossing the street, is significantly higher than normal. Depending on your job, this may pose a risk to your colleagues.

For example, fatigue is a serious problem in the mining industry, which is why large mining companies often have regulations regarding fatigue (e.g. one company I worked at previously has a no-fault policy if you call in sick due to fatigue, you just don't get paid for that day).

Even if you drive a desk, chances are the work you produce while fatigued will be of a lower quality, or even counter-productive (you'll just have to fix all your mistakes the next day).

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Yep, industry plays a part in this too. If you are a doctor, operate heavy machinery, or run a nuclear power plant, fatigue is definitely a valid reason for taking the day off! –  Grant Jul 10 '13 at 13:14

Unless your contract states that it is not a valid reason and you think that it will cause you to be inefficient and physically & mentally unable to perform your duties, then it should be acceptable.

Insomnia affects people differently. It's good to keep in mind if you do call in, because if the boss is someone who never had that bad symptoms from insomnia, s/he might not relate to you even if you feel poorly.

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For doctors appointments I would specify doctors appointment. For anything else: insomnia (the original question), flu like symptoms, migraine... I would just label it not feeling well.

If the situation lasts more than a single day, or occurs more often than you are comfortable with, then see a doctor; and claim those hours for the appointment as a doctors appointment.

A longtime ago the company I worked for used the number of sick occurrences during the year into account when evaluating low level employees. The definition of sick occurrence required strict accounting of the reason for each absence:

  • Not feeling well, so leaving early or arriving a few hours late: one occurrence
  • Missing 4 hours for pre-surgical appointment, then 3 days for surgery and recovery, and two 3 hour post-op appointment 2 and 4 weeks later: one occurrence.
  • going to physical therapy 2 times a week for 3 months: one occurrence.

If you missed 3 days in a row, you needed a note from a doctor.

They were looking to make sure some employees weren't treating the 10 days of sick a year as extra vacation, or that they were using it to leave early on some Fridays, or were masking frequent hangovers as being sick.

Now that most companies have combined short term illness and vacation into one pool, the paperwork requirements have virtually disappeared. My current company time card system only asks for you to apply your daily allotment of your 40 hours a week to charge numbers, holiday, and annual leave. If an employee were going to miss multiple days in a row they have a short term disability program and a long term disability program. These extra programs do require additional paperwork and forms from the doctors office.

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