Can I be fired for refusing to work on Sundays?

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Can I be fired for refusing to work on Sundays?

I was hired to work M-Th, 7 am to 5 pm. I now work M-F 5 pm to 5 am and they are making Sundays mandatory

overtime. They knew from my application and interview that I cannot and will not work Sundays.

Asked on February 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I assume that your refusal to work on Sundays is due to religious reasons and that you have no rights regarding this matter under the termsof an employment contract or union agreement. That being the case, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 (“Title VII”) prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their religion. It also requires employers to accommodate the religious practices of its employees unless doing so would create an "undue hardship"; this means that an employer need not incur more than minimal costs in order to accommodate a worker’s religious practices). Accordingly, an employer can't simply refuse to accommodate an employee; the employer must prove undue hardship. This means that they must try to accommodate religious needs and, if it an employer states that it cannot can't reasonably be done, then they must identify an actual expense that would be associated making the accommodation. That having been said, the employer is not legally required to provide the specific accommodation requested, so long as the employer has reasonably attempted to accommodate the employee’s religious needs. It should be noted that Federal law applies only to companies with more than 15 employees, although many state and local employment laws protect employees of smaller companies. Finally, if your refusal for Sunday work is not based on religious observance, then you have no claim here as absent legally actionable discimination, a business can set the conditions of work much as is sees fit (no matter what you indicated n your application or in your interview).At this point, you may want to consult further with a local an employment attorney and/or contact your state's department of labor.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I assume that your refusal to work on Sundays is due to religious reasons and that you have no rights regarding this matter under the termsof an employment contract or union agreement. That being the case, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 (“Title VII”) prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their religion. It also requires employers to accommodate the religious practices of its employees unless doing so would create an "undue hardship"; this means that an employer need not incur more than minimal costs in order to accommodate a worker’s religious practices). Accordingly, an employer can't simply refuse to accommodate an employee; the employer must prove undue hardship. This means that they must try to accommodate religious needs and, if it an employer states that it cannot can't reasonably be done, then they must identify an actual expense that would be associated making the accommodation. That having been said, the employer is not legally required to provide the specific accommodation requested, so long as the employer has reasonably attempted to accommodate the employee’s religious needs. It should be noted that Federal law applies only to companies with more than 15 employees, although many state and local employment laws protect employees of smaller companies. Finally, if your refusal for Sunday work is not based on religious observance, then you have no claim here as absent legally actionable discimination, a business can set the conditions of work much as is sees fit (no matter what you indicated n your application or in your interview).At this point, you may want to consult further with a local an employment attorney and/or contact your state's department of labor.


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