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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Last week, “Lauren’s List” featured the key phrases you should never say to your boss.

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Well, chances are they don’t want to hear you’re calling in sick either.

But if you have to do it, here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re doing it right.

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  1. Are you contagious? If the answer is yes, this is simple. Don’t go to work! You may have a deadline looming or a big meeting and want to go in, but your co-workers probably don’t want you around them! Human resource directors say from a productivity standpoint, if you’re contagious, you’re better off staying home so you don’t infect others who will then likely have to miss work later.
  1. Can you work from home? Anchoring the news isn’t something I can do easily from my house, but maybe you can do your job while in the comfort of your pajamas. If that’s the case, and you’re feeling up to it, maybe offer to work from home instead of using a sick day or if you’re out of paid sick days. This is an especially useful idea when you’re taking a day off to care for a sick child, but you’re feeling fine. Just be honest with your employer about how much work you can actually do while home.
  1. Call or email? If your job requires a replacement to be called in to work in your place, calling is absolutely the way to go. But if not, H-R managers say an email works too if it’s after hours as many bosses still check their emails when off the clock. Double check your employee handbook, or ask your boss upfront what works best for him or her. If you do email, be sure to follow up with a phone call if you don’t get a reply.
  1. Are you prepared? Sometimes an illness sneaks up on you and sometimes you feel it coming, but that’s why it’s best to be prepared. Create a file of key tasks that need to get done in your absence along with clear instructions-and tell your coworkers about it and where to find it. That way even if you’re unexpectedly out of commission, your team can still carry on without you without too much trouble.

Of course, sometimes you just need a “mental health day” and really aren’t sick. That’s okay, too. Sometimes. But I want to know, do you work when you’re sick?

Tell me on Facebook ( or Twitter (@LaurenPastrana).

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