Ismy employerallowed to require employees to attenda meeting if it conflicts with a religious commitment?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Ismy employerallowed to require employees to attenda meeting if it conflicts with a religious commitment?

My boss told me that even though I’m a teacher at my church I have to miss church on Halloween to attend a mandatory meeting. I’ve been told in the past by friends (who are not trained in anything law related) that she can’t make me miss a religious event on a non-normal working day. Before I confront her and ask her if I may leave early or ask her to change the day of the week I would like to know what my rights are. I don’t know if the meeting is just to yell at us, it’s just what my co-workers said she calls these meetings for every year. I have an anxiety disorder and cannot handle that. And, is calling a mandatory meeting just to yell at the workers considered abuse?

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, am employer can call a mandatory meeting about anything as long as doing so doesn't violate company policy, or a union/employment contract .  And as long as discrimination is not involved.

Specifically, while religious discriminationin in the workplace is against the law; exactly what actions are or are not appropriate is a delicate determination.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 (“Title VII”) prohibits employers from discriminating against employeess solely based of their religion.  It requires an employer to  accommodate the religious practices of an employee unless to do so would create an "undue hardship" (ie an employer need not incur more than minimal costs in accommodating an employee’s religious practices).  This means that an employer must in good faith try to accommodate an employee's religious needs, and if it can't reasonably be done, the employer must identify an actual expense that would be associated in making the accommodation.  However, the employer is not legally required to provide the specific accommodation requested by the employee.  As long as the employer has reasonably accommodated an employee’s religious needs, the employer need not adopt the exact accommodations suggested by the employee.

Note:  Federal law applies only to companies with more than 15 employees, although many state and local employment laws protect employees of smaller companies.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption