Religious observance

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Religious observance

I requested off for a religious
observance 2.5 weeks ago and my Manager
is denying my request. I made offers to
assist in other ways but was told that
wouldn’t be helpful.

I was told I would be terminated if I
didn’t come in.

Asked on September 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or union agreement that prohibits your being terminated under the circumstances? If not, then it may be legal. Furhter, certain discrimination is illegal. For exemple that based on race, religion, disability, national origin, gender, age, etc.). Accordingly, you cannot be denied employment due to your religious beliefs. Further, federal law requires an employer to "reasonably accommodate" an employee's religious observances and practices provided that the employer can show that accommodation would cause an "undue hardship" to the employer's business. Just what constitutes "reasonable accommodation" and "undue hardship" depends on the facts of each case. Basically, a company must attempt to create a structure permitting workers to practice their religious beliefs while still maintaining their jobs. However, in certain situations, accommodation may not be possible. That having been said, the employer bears the burden of demonstrating that a serious attempt to accommodate the employee was made.


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