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My employee reprimanded me for meditating/praying while at…

My employee reprimanded me...

My employee reprimanded me for meditating/praying while at work, what can I do?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes, I received a reprimand.

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,084
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to answer your question.

Do you mean to say that your EMPLOYER reprimanded you? I look forward to assisting you...

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
however, I was charged with the catch-all: Neglect of Duty, because I "abandoned" my post while I meditated/prayed.

Thank you. How many employees total does your employer have? Is it more than 15?

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Okay, thank you. So in that case the civil rights laws prohibiting religious discrimination and requiring reasonable religious accommodations will apply to your employment. That said, an employer is not required to allow meditation or prayer while an employee is working. An employer is only required to provide "reasonable" accommodations so that an employee can still practice their religion. So, your employer might be required to allow you to take extra breaks or to prey/meditate on your breaks, but they are not required to allow you to do this while you are on the clock. While you are on the clock, your employer can expect you to devote all of your attention and efforts to work and can discipline you for not doing so, even if the reason you were not doing so has something to do with your religious practices.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I understand, but in this case we were gathered loosely waiting on resources to deal with a mentally disturbed person and step away to pray for a good resolution.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I work with a law enforcement agency.

Thank you. If your actions gave the perception that you had "abandoned" your post or were not being attentive, that would still be possible grounds for discipline. To have a claim, you would essentially have to prove that you would not have been reprimanded if you engaged in the exact same type of behavior (stepping away from the group as you did) to do something other than prey. This can be very hard to show.

I would definitely make sure this incident is documented, but I would not expect to be able to prey or meditate in any capacity while you are on the clock if it requires you to step away or ever appear distracted at work. I think you would face a huge uphill battle in trying to establish that discipline predicated on such conduct is a form of disability discrimination, because simply put, employers can always demand 100% of your attention and mental focus while you are on the clock.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Ok, thanks.

You are very welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you...

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Will do, thanks again.

If you do not require any further assistance for the time being, please take a moment to positively rate my service using the option at the top of your page, as this is how I receive credit for the time I spend with customers. Thank you and best wishes to you.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,084
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
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