My employer asks me why I'm taking so many sick days, to point out that I'm taking them too much and I should stop. I don't know how to respond to that, my first thought is "it's none of your business, it's between me and my physician".

Should I say I'll try to take them less? But hey, I'm not taking them because I want to, my physician told me to take it.

Of course there is an actual medical reason. And this is my physicians job to verify and officially state that. I'm getting paid sick leave from my physician and according to local law I'm not allowed to work at that time. So it's not my decision to take the leave, nor the employers.

How to I respond to this?

  • 16
    Please add a location and if no general laws govern this, your sick leave policy.
    – nvoigt
    Feb 19, 2019 at 14:27
  • 7
    What does he mean by that question? "Why are you absent so much? You should be more present at work!", or: "I feel bad for you being so ill regularly. Is it job related and is there anything I can do in order to make you feel better?".
    – Dominique
    Feb 19, 2019 at 14:27
  • 1
    Can you provide country you located at?
    – tweray
    Feb 19, 2019 at 14:30
  • 1
    What is the sick leave policy at your work and how many leaves are you taking?
    – sf02
    Feb 19, 2019 at 14:33
  • 1
    The boss is not asking the details about your private medical condition. The boss is (for better or worse) asking (1) is it real or fake (2) what is the outlook in the future
    – Fattie
    Feb 19, 2019 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


If there is an actual medical reason you are taking so much leave, it needs to be discussed with Human Resources.

While the particulars of your medical conditions are of no concern to your immediate manager, if your absences are affecting the company or your team, they need to be addressed.

This is where HR comes in. One of the functions of HR is to keep confidential employee issues, confidential. You may need to disclose some of what is going on to your manager, but the majority of the discussions should be with HR. They may require you to have your doctor fill out a form, or in the very least, notes from your doctor indicating the medical necessity of you taking off.

If this is an ongoing, chronic medical condition, and you live in the USA, the Americans with Disabilities act comes into play, and "reasonable accommodations" must be given to your illness. Most other countries have similar laws, and you should do some research on where and how they apply to your circumstances.

  • 2
    "If there is an actual medical reason" of course there is -> question edited. Feb 20, 2019 at 11:02
  • 2
    @MarianPaździoch doesn't change the answer Feb 20, 2019 at 12:29

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