young woman with caption 'I can't call off no one would be able to take my shift'


‘Scared to call out on my birthday for a 9 hour shift’: Worker’s video on feeling guilty when needing to call off but no one can take shift sparks debate

‘IDK who needs to hear this but seriously CALL OFF.’


Braden Bjella


In the United States, it’s quite typical for a worker to be asked to find someone to cover their shift if they, for one reason or another, can’t make it to work. 

As a result, workers can feel stressed if they can’t find someone to take their shift. A TikToker satirizes the guilt that comes along with considering calling out in a video with over 492,000 views.

User @squiddiestiddies2 turns to the camera while ominous music plays. “I can’t call off no one would be able to take my shift,” @squiddiestiddies2 wrote in the text overlaying the video.


Like okay why are we even considering that fact take a mental health day babes

♬ original sound – ᴅᴀᴠɪᴅ☘️🏴‍☠️

So who is responsible for finding someone to cover a shift if the employee can’t find someone?

Although specifics change depending on a few factors, according to numerous sources, it is the employer’s duty to find someone to cover a shift if the employee cannot find a replacement.

“In most cases, your employer has to find a replacement to cover you if you request a sick day off,” writes Do Not Pay, though the site notes that specifics may differ based on things like “Your company’s sick leave policy, Local sick leave laws, Your company’s size, [and] Disabilities you have.”

In the comments section, users agreed that it is not the employee’s responsibility to find someone to cover their shift.

“It should never be the responsibility of the worker to find a replacement,” one user wrote. “That is the management’s responsibility.”

“Unless I’m the manager, how is that my problem,” another asked. “Hire more people then.”

“What’s sad is some of us don’t have the choice to call off for anything,” a third added. “If we get fired we have nothing to fall back on.”

The latter comment brings up an important point. While it may technically be the employer’s role to find people to cover worker shifts if they can’t make it, if a worker resides in an at-will employment state, their failure to do so may still result in them being fired.

“At-will means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason without incurring legal liability,” the National Conference of State Legislatures states. “Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.”

Regardless, users on TikTok are aligned in the notion that it should be the manager’s role to manage employees and scheduling.

Update 9:55am CT, Oct. 18: In a TikTok DM exchange with Daily Dot, @squiddiestiddies2 elaborated on their reason for making the video.

“I was inspired to make this video because, as a student who works and has mental illness, I just want people to know it’s ok to take care of yourself when need be,” they write. “I also have a job that would let me call off whenever because staffing is great and my boss and supervisor respect me on all levels.”

They also explained why it’s important to set boundaries in the workplace.

“A well rounded life is important for a long life. Friends, work, family, self love, etc., is important, and I think it’s ridiculous people who get paid more to staff and schedule make the workers feel bad for calling off,” they detail.“Let me add that workers at their worst only create problem for the business because they can’t exceed in their daily tasks,” the TikToker concluded. “It’s dangerous especially for those who work with machinery or in healthcare.”

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