What do I do if I am being discriminated because of religious beliefs?

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What do I do if I am being discriminated because of religious beliefs?

At work. I told my manager I needed certain days to where I need to get off early so I can make it to my church gatehrings. He told me he cant. I said I have to go to my church

gatherings and I can’t miss a meeting of the body when it comes to church. He told me God

will understand if I don’t come church and I said God and church is more important than a

job. I don’t mind working days I hours but for church I need those days. He told me that I don’t need to go to church those days and that I can repent on Sundays and if I don’t want to work because of church he will let me go. Basically telling me God isn’t important and if God is important to me then he don’t need me and he can let me go all because I believe in God and I want to go to church. Others things have been done and said as well in terms of mocking me for my religion. Is this considered discrimination in the workplace in regards to my religion because I am a Christian and I love God?

Asked on August 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An employer has to make "reasonable accommodations" to religious beliefs. A reasonable accommodation, however, is one that is not too disruptive or expensive to the business; if the accommodation is disruptive, they do not have to make it. Your question does not indicate what type of business this is or what you do, or how early you are looking to leave, but if you are leaving at critical times when they really need workers, or if the nature of their hours and business is that you can't make up the extra time elsewhen, or if the amount of days you are seeking to take off is not reasonable--and reasonable is judged by the average or common religious observances, so if your church is requiring you to attend many more services or meetings than most people attend for religion--then it may not be reasonable and the employer can refuse to let you  leave for church.
For example, a businss open both days on the weekend, where the days are more or less equally important, can let Jews work Sunday and Christians work Saturday--giving employees some control over their shift is reassonable. But a restaurant that is does alot of its business from Friday afternoon through early Saturday evening would be justified in not having a observant Jewish waiter who can't work those hours; it's not reasonable to let someone miss the most important days/hours every week.


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