Calling in sick on purpose a Mortal Sin?

You agreed to give the employer your full attention and promise them the ability to rely on you. You let your side of the contract down. Our older Americans almost never missed work and were proud of it. America has changed with our younger generations.

You may also be taking time off from someone else since employers can only afford so much for medical absences.

I would say over the years my worst problems with calling in sick are about 2/3 young people and 1/3 older people with health issues. The concept of a “mental health day” has blasted our work ethic to shreds.

That being said, the issue here is still specific to the job. Some places are so stuck with younger employees that they have accommodated this practice officially. In such a case, then there is no sin as long as one is abiding by the company policy.

In the worst case, I still do not think this can be* mortal* sin. It can be very, very bad. I would say one who fakes calling in sick has no cause for moaning when he is fired in lieu of someone more dependable.

If you feel you need a day off because you’re not up to going in, it may just be a venial sin of lying. If you went to the beach instead and lied, getting paid maybe $200 for the day, it would be a mortal sin.
Confess it as any other sin you are sorry for and try not to do it again! :blush:

I see two commandments being broken:

  1. are lying when you state you are sick and are in fact not. 2. You are being paid for it when you shouldn’t be which I see as theft.

Then there’s the inconvenience to your co-workers if they have to “cover” for you and still complete there on duties. :mad::mad:

At the very least I would call my supervisor and ask if it is okay to take today off, even though it’s late notice. You company may or may not have a policy about short notice to request vacation time. If that request is denied, I would request the next day that I could take off without it being considered “short notice” and then look forward to that day off.


Seems to me it depends on what the contract is (however unions are gone and employees are left to negotiate on their own) if you are allowed 10 sick days and then you have to get a doctors excuse it’s not a sin. If you are over your ten days and are supposed to see a doctor but do not and then lye you are committing a sin.

If you are not allowed any sick days and are expected to show up everyday then you are committing a sin. Businesses are depending on people to be there and show up.

If it’s use it or lose it, I see no problem with it. My work is moving to a PTO system next year and in addition to the 5 weeks of vacation that I already have, i’m getting an extra week to cover sick time and it’s use it or lose it at the end of the calendar year. I have a hard enough time using the 5 weeks I already have :wink:

Now grant, it will longer be called sick time but it’s additional time that i’m receiving to cover sick time. Outside of the common cold, i’m rarely sick.

I agree with this - it depends on how the PTO system is set up. If you have to use the days or lose them, then by all means, use the days. My husband has to use up all his vacation (10) and personal days (3) every year, but his sick days roll over up to a certain maximum - I think 12 weeks? So he doesn’t take many sick days - his reasoning is he’d like to save them to use if one of us was seriously ill, or he can be compensated for them if he retires/takes another job.

If you do have PTO, you might consider using it in such a way that these unforeseen days happen less. Regardless of what you think of “mental health days,” people do need to step away from the grind now and then. Planning the wise use of your paid time off can help with just calling in “sick” just because you’re worn out and want a break.

Regardless of mortal or venial, we know that lying is a sin; therefore you have sinned. Since our goal is to live a sinless life, resolve never to lie again and confess to a priest in case it is a mortal sin.

Thanks a lot for very reflected and good input on the matter:)

Yes, the feeling I get when doing it and maybe worst of all after Ive commited the sin is a clear warning signal that its not ok at all.

To clarify, I have a number of vacation days that I can spend during the year but thats not what Im talking about. Im talking about deliberately calling in sick, get paid and relax at home watching Television instead of showing up at work.

I actually consider it to be a severe sin (might even be Mortal) as Ive been thinking of it.
I recieve my normal salary for these days and its 100 per cent deliberately.
The Place that I work has a medical scheme for its employees, but this is to abuse the system.

I will definitely confess it when Im going to confession prior to Easter (until then Im not allowed to confess)

God Bless!

What if you call in sick, not out of being lazy, but because you are going to a funeral out of state for a friend and not sure they will permit it? I am low on time from legitimate illnesses and my friend died. I want to be their to support his family who I’m close to. What would the gravity of that be? Usually they only allow sick time for death of relatives. Thank you.

Mental health is a serious issue. And just as people can get short term illnesses, people can get temporarily depressed and a mental health day is perfectly appropriate.

I think a lot of it depends on your specific company culture. My boss has made it very clear that when it comes to paid time off (including sick days) you “use them or lose them.” There is an expectation that by giving you five sick days, you will be using five sick days. They don’t even look at attendance unless you exceed your allotment.

That being said, if I know we are short staffed I won’t be calling in unless I really have to.

I will not agree. Our emotional state is not a sickness, as I see it. A person is not mentally ill one day and not another. I agree that mental health is a very serious issue. Abusing sick time in the name of mental illness does nothing but make light of those that have chronic mental health issues.

One solution I have to sick time abuse is that I allow vacation on holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, based on the amount accumulated unused sick time. This provides at least some incentive not to lie about being sick to ditch work.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit