How To Call in Sick at McDonald’s? (All You Need To Know)

Illness is inevitable at some point in every person’s life. New employees at McDonald’s may be nervous about how to call in sick and wonder what details they need to know.

It is important to know the protocol and potential repercussions of calling in sick. Here is a helpful guide that will assist you with any questions you may have about McDonald’s policies on how to call in sick and more!

How To Call in Sick at McDonald’s?

McDonald’s policy is that an ill employee must call instead of text and speak to a Manager at least 2 hours before the start of their shift. If it is an early morning shift, the policy is that the employee should call the night before and then again in the morning. Some McDonald’s workers are eligible for paid sick leave.

Keep reading to find out more about McDonald’s policies on calling in sick, whether or not you’ll be paid for sick days and more!

Does McDonald’s Offer Paid Sick Leave?

McDonald’s does offer paid sick leave, but only at its corporate-owned stores. While the  McDonald’s Corporation can suggest that franchisees offer sick leave, they cannot force those franchisees to do so.

Therefore, unfortunately, there is a good chance that your McDonald’s will not offer paid sick leave. But this is not to say you will be denied sick days when you need them.

How Many Sick Days Do McDonald’s Employees Receive?

This answer may vary depending on the McDonald’s. But in general, the answer seems to be that workers at McDonald’s get one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

In a year, McDonald’s employees, in general, receive five paid days of leave. Workers can use these as they choose. If needed, they can use them as sick days.

On the other hand, if an employee is truly sick, they will be allowed to take time off while ill, although possibly unpaid. 

Additionally, McDonald’s does caution their workers not to abuse sick days as this can be a reason for discipline or even termination.

What Happens If I Call in Sick Late at McDonald’s?

What happens if I call in sick late at McDonalds?

If you call in sick less than two hours before your shift, you may be subject to written documentation.

In general, it is a good idea, therefore, to call in sick two or even three or more hours early to avoid these repercussions.

Because McDonald’s will need to find a sub for your shift, calling in sick later than two hours prior to your scheduled shift is highly discouraged.

What If I’m Sick Several Days in a Row?

According to McDonald’s policy, it is best to provide your manager with a doctor’s note for extended illness.

If you need to request a longer leave of absence for illness or other reasons, see your manager for the correct form.

It is always wise to err on the side of over-communicating with your manager on topics such as this. If you are concerned about your job, speak with them as soon as possible.

Will I Get in Trouble If I Call in Sick at McDonald’s?

This question depends on your manager and the specifics of your situation.

If you are known to be a dependable worker and are experiencing an unexpected illness, chances are good your manager will understand.

However, if you have been known to misuse the sick days policy, calling in sick when you are not ill, or something similar, then repercussions may include discipline or termination.

It is always best to communicate any concerns you have about this question with your management.

Overall, McDonald’s encourages their workers to stay home while truly ill but not to exaggerate their need for sick days.

What Should I Do If I Start Feeling Sick While at Work?

The first thing to do is to tell your manager that you are feeling ill. Your manager may ask you to go home and possibly use paid leave.

On the other hand, they might ask you to stay depending on the nature of your illness. Typically though, in recent years, managers will allow you to go home if sick.

Again, it is always best to ask your specific store’s manager what their policy is for this issue. But in general, an illness that occurs while on a shift is dealt with by allowing the worker to go home.

To know more, you can also see our posts on McDonald’s break policy, McDonald’s dress code, and if it is easy to get a job at McDonald’s.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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