Can my job legally make me work on the Sabbath?

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Can my job legally make me work on the Sabbath?

I work at a bank call center worked there for 3 1/2 years. I’m a Seventhday Adventist and currently in nursing school. My employer states they make accommodations for religion and school, business needs first. I gave my employer a letter from the school and a class schedule. They are also aware of my religion. From sunset Friday until sunset Saturday night which is considered the Sabbath. They gave me a schedule which I feel violates my religious rights; they gave me schedule which includes Saturday 8 pm-12 am.

Asked on September 28, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The issue depends on two things:

1) First, if they have accomodated the requirements of your religion, then even if you don't want to work the hours described, the employer has done all that is required of it. So, for example: you say that your Sabbath is from sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday; that means that you *can* work after the sunset on Saturday, so long as the schedule gives you enough time to get to  work. Thus, you could be required to work after the Sabbath ends, and giving you a schedule that has you working after the Sabbath is an accomodatoin.

2) Even if the schedule does not fully accomodate you, the employer only needs to make "reasonable accomodations," which are accomodations which are not too costly or disruptive. If they cannot have someone in your position without that person working at least some hours on your Sabbath, they may not have to accomodate you; the employer is allowed to run its business, and does not have to employ people who cannot be there when it needs business to be done.


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