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A no call, no show is a form of absence from the workforce without notifying the employer, which is generally considered inconsiderate and very unprofessional. When a worker misses work, especially in jobs where one's workload would need to be substituted for the day (teachers, cashiers, servers etc), it is generally expected that he/she call in advance to warn of his/her absence, so his/her workload can be completed by the present workers. Many businesses have forms of punishments as a result of no call, no shows such as counseling statements, suspension and possibly termination of employment.

There are various reasons why a no call, no show occurs:

  • Sometimes, an employee who does not show up to work without reporting is quitting the job, but does so by abandoning his/her position and discontinuing all further communications with the employer.
  • There are times, however, when a no call, no show is not preventable, such as when an employee is suffering a medical emergency and is unable to communicate with the employer. An employer is more likely to excuse such an absence if the employee has a good prior attendance record and/or supplies satisfactory documentation of the unexpected nature of the situation (e.g. paperwork from an ambulance or hospital).
  • In some cases, the employee does report the absence to the employer, but the employer fails to receive the communication.
  • It can be also construed that the employee simply wants to take the day off (despite the risk of any disciplinary action that might be taken in this situation), and doesn't want to deal with any hassling questions from the employer.
  • In retail positions, there are often scheduling inconsistencies in which the employee believes he or she is working a different shift that day, (or for that matter, working an entirely different day), instead of the one he/she is scheduled to work. Some employers consider this a form of no call, no show.


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