The Migraine Dilemma—Find Out if It Is OK To Call In Sick With a Migraine

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

A Splitting Headache—Should You Call In Sick With a Migraine?

A migraine isn’t just a measure on the spectrum of pain for regular headaches. According to the World Health Organization, it is an actual neurological disease—it is the 6th most incapacitating disorder in the world. Still, you have to be sure that a migraine is impairing your ability to fulfill your work obligations before you consider calling in sick.

Should you call in sick with a migraine after all? Are there unpaid or paid sick leave laws that allow it? We’ll explore these questions in this article and show you how to using our AI product.

Do Sick Leave Laws Allow Employees To Call In Sick With a Migraine?

Whether it's the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), or a state-specific sick leave policy, these laws generally do not focus on a particular type of illness—except for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Instead, they focus on the way the illness affects your ability to do your job.

Can you call in sick for a migraine? Yes, you can because a migraine is an illness according to employment law—in some situations, it can even count as a disability.

If you’re not sure whether you can use your sick days when you have a migraine, it is best to check the terms of the contract with your employer or discuss it with them directly.

What Protection Can You Get Under the FMLA?

The FMLA establishes certain rights for eligible employees who need to request time off due to an illness. You have to follow the instructions to ensure you don't encounter any problems with your employer. The benefits and instructions are outlined in this table:

FMLA Rights/BenefitsInstructions
  1. Notify your employer immediately about your migraines
  2. Request leave via appropriate written documentation and not just verbally—you can write a sick leave request letter yourself, use an online email template, or let DoNotPay's AI-powered tool take care of everything for you
  3. Provide medical proof if your employer requests it

Does the ADA Cover Migraine Patients?

According to the ADA, some migraines may qualify as a disability if:

  • The migraine is serious enough to impair the employee's ability to do his job at all or to acceptable standards
  • There is proof that the employee would be suited for the role without the migraine
  • The frequency and severity of the migraine reach the ADA's discretionary benchmark

The ADA cannot be invoked when requesting time off or sick leave, but it can mandate your employer to make reasonable accommodations for you. These can include:

  • Providing you with flexible work hours
  • Allowing you to work remotely
  • Rearranging your office space to eliminate migraine triggers
  • Create a migraine-friendly break room

What States Have Their Own Sick Leave Laws?

The number of states, cities, and counties that have their own sick leave laws—or are currently developing them—keeps growing. If you have migraines or any other illness and need sick leave, check out our resources about the following locations:

New YorkColoradoNevada
MassachusettsWashington D.C.North Carolina
New JerseyPennsylvaniaMaine
OregonFloridaRhode Island

Need To Request Sick Leave Urgently? DoNotPay Can Help

If you're unsure how to request sick leave from your employer, DoNotPay can create a sick leave request letter for you in minutes. and follow these few steps:

  1. Locate the Request Sick Leave product
  2. Type in the state where you work so we can find the sick leave laws applicable to you
  3. Answer a few questions about your employer
  4. Provide the amount of time you'll need away from work
  5. Select whether DoNotPay should automatically email the request letter to your employer

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