would this be considered religious discrimination?

I am a new Part-Time employee at Orchard Hardware Supply, during my interview I specified that I would need Sundays off due to my beliefs; I am Catholic. When asked by management if I could possibly help on that day because of short staffing, I told them I would rather have it off. The interviewer responded by saying,

Asked on April 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You *may* be able to file a religions discrimination complaint with either the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The critical issue is whether working Sunday's is critical to the job or not. If you were hired to work on weekends--i.e. if that's what they primarily hired this position for--then it is not discrimination, since an employer's only obligation is to make "reasonable accommodations" to an employee's religion: however, it is not reasonable to allow an employee hired to work weekends to miss a large portion of them.
On the other hand, if working weekends is not a core aspect of your position--i.e. if you were hired to work X hours, but not mostly or specifically for weekends--then they need to accommodate you by allowing you to not work on Sunday. In this instance, you would have a viable employment discrimination claim.


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