Religious observance

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


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

Answered 5 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.

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 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.

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