What do I do if my employer insists that I work the day on which I go to worship?

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What do I do if my employer insists that I work the day on which I go to worship?

The closing time of the job is not in line with my day of worship.

Asked on October 26, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Does this work schedule violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement? If so, then you have immediate recourse. If not, you still may have rights. It depends on just how critical Saturday/Sunday work is to the position for which you were hired. Pursuant to federal law, an employer must make "reasonable" accomodations for a worker's religion. Such an accomodation is one that will not cause an "undue burden" on their employer (i.e. one that is not too expensive or disruptive). Acordingly, if you are an office worker who normally works M-F and was hired to do that, you cannot be fired for not working over the weekend (which is presumably the time during which you worship) if your employer wants you to do extra work. On the other hand, if you are a server and was hired to work during a restaurant's busiest days, which obviously includes the weekends, then you could be fired for refusing to work that time since you would be refusing to do the job for which you were hired. Without more details it is hard to say. At this point, you should consult directly with a local employment law attorney who can best advise you after reviewing all of the details of your situation.

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Does this work schedule violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement? If so, then you have immediate recourse. If not, you still may have rights. It depends on just how critical Saturday/Sunday work is to the position for which you were hired. Pursuant to federal law, an employer must make "reasonable" accomodations for a worker's religion. Such an accomodation is one that will not cause an "undue burden" on their employer (i.e. one that is not too expensive or disruptive). Acordingly, if you are an office worker who normally works M-F and was hired to do that, you cannot be fired for not working over the weekend (which is presumably the time during which you worship) if your employer wants you to do extra work. On the other hand, if you are a server and was hired to work during a restaurant's busiest days, which obviously includes the weekends, then you could be fired for refusing to work that time since you would be refusing to do the job for which you were hired. Without more details it is hard to say. At this point, you should consult directly with a local employment law attorney who can best advise you after reviewing all of the details of your situation.


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