Can a vet tech be fired for refusing to assist on a late term abortion of a healthy almost due dog?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Can a vet tech be fired for refusing to assist on a late term abortion of a healthy almost due dog?

Providing they explained their religious beliefs to the veterinarian before hand, and again the day of the procedure, and were still fired for not assisting (the vet tech was not told they would be asked to assist but had made their religious stance on abortion known to prevent being asked). What if, during the job termination, the doctor said the vet tech’s religious beliefs were “wrong” because it was an animal and not a human? Is there legal recourse?

Asked on November 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There likely is no recourse. A reasonable religious accommodation is a change in policy or procedure that lets the employee do the job while respecting his/her religion; a common example is a change in dress code, to allow a male Jewish employee to wear a yalmuke or hat, or a Muslim woman to ear a full or partial burka or chadra. But in the case you describe, the employee refused to do part of his or her job; the employer is not required to retain employees who will not do their jobs, and letting employees not do their jobs is not a required reasonable accommodation.

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