Can a grocery store require me to work on Sunday’s?

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Can a grocery store require me to work on Sunday’s?

I’m trying to work with my employer on working on Sundays. I used to go to church every Sunday. Yet, they may grant me a later work arrival on Sunday, say 1 pm, once a month. However, they refuse to consider my religious belief on going to church every Sunday morning and allow me to work anytime after 1 pm every Sunday. I feel I’m being discriminated against for I see my co-workers getting their work schedule adjusted and it’s not for religious reasons, they just want a more accommodating schedule. Now my employer often has me work the closing shift on Saturday, then a late morning shift on Sunday making it impossible to either attend a Saturday night service or a Sunday morning service. What are my legal rights for me to practice my religion and go to church every Sunday?

Asked on August 5, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It depends on the nature of your employer and job. An employer has an obligation to make "reasonable accommodations" to employee religion. A reasonable accommodation is a change which is not too disruptive or expensive for the employer. There are jobs where not working Sunday morning is a minor inconvenience at best for the employer and they have to accommodate you--e.g. at businesses where Sunday morning is just another day, no more or less important than other days/times. And there are businesses where not having an employee Sunday morning is a severe hardship for an employer--for example, certain restaurants (like bagel shops or diners) where a very large percentage of their business is Sunday morning breakfast and brunch. 
If the Sunday time you want off would not present an undue burden on your employer, they have to accomodate you; if they don't, you can contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil righs agency about filing a complaint. But if Sunday morning is critical to your employer's business, they don't have to give you it off.


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