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Can my employer force me to work on Sunday

Customer Question
I am being forced to...
I am being forced to work on Sunday causing me to miss church where I am extremely active. I go to church beginning at 8:00am. Service is over at 12:30pm. My husband and I have dinner, relax and then return to church at 5:00pm for choir practice and evening service. I do not work on Sunday at home except fixing meals and cleaning up afterwards. I am a deacon''s wife and have many responsibilities at church including choir, audio/visual tasks, women''s and men''s ministry
Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 6 hours by:
6/1/2008
Employment Lawyer: Cowgirl Lawyer, Lawyer replied 9 years ago
Cowgirl Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,422
Experience: Attorney for 22 years. Labor and Employment. Former Administrative Law Judge.
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Hello,Customer

Unfortunately, there is no prohibition against employers requiring work on Sundays. If there were, Sunday would not be a major shopping day, and there would not be television on Sundays nor sporting events. The First Amendment grants US citizens protections for their religious beliefs. But that protection is from actions of the government, not from a private business. A private business is not required to accomodate your religious practices.

The only protection one has from a private employer is that employer cannot to refuse to hire you because you are Christian, for example. That employer cannot decide not to hire any practicing Christians on the assumption that the Christians will refuse to work on Sundays (or Saturdays for those who have their sabbath then). That sort of discrimination based on one's religion is illegal.

However, that employer may require all employees, regardless of when they take their sabbath, to work on whatever schedule best suits the employer. There is no requirement that a private employer make any accomodation for any employee's religious observances and sabbaths.

An employee's only real remedy is to find employment that does not require work on their sabbath. You may want to discuss this with your employer before you resign, to see if you can negotiate a compromise of some sort, but unfortunately you don't have a legal remedy.

Good luck to you!

Please ACCEPT. Positive feedback and bonuses are appreciated!

Gloria Morris

Attorney at Law

Legal Disclaimer: The information I am providing you is for informational and research use only. You are paying me only for such information. The information is not legal advice and by rendering such information there is no formation of an attorney-client relationship. As the law is constantly changing, you are advised to consult with legal counsel in your area for specific information relevant to your situation.

Cowgirl Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,422
Experience: Attorney for 22 years. Labor and Employment. Former Administrative Law Judge.
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
Reply to Gloria Morris's Post: Thank you for your timely answer. It is not what I was hoping to hear but it is what I need toknow. Thank you for taking the time to give me the advice I needed before I go into work tomorrow.
Employment Lawyer: Cowgirl Lawyer, Lawyer replied 9 years ago
You are welcome! Thank you for accepting my answer and best wishes to you!
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Employment Lawyer: Cowgirl Lawyer, Lawyer replied 9 years ago
I have one additional thought to add to this, which you may want to consider trying. Title VII requires an employer to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless doing so would create an undue hardship for the employer. As I stated earlier, you may want to ask your employer to allow you to take your sabbath off. You may want to mention Title VII as well.

If your employer refuses, they merely need to assert that it would create an undue hardship for them to grant you every Sunday off. It may be worth a try, however, as your employer might not know that they have an easy loophole.

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