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I am a teacher and this year Good Friday falls on the week…

Customer Question
I am a teacher...

I am a teacher and this year Good Friday falls on the week before Spring Break. I am a practicing Catholic and we should not work on Good Friday. I told my principal that I was planning to take this day off but he says we need to talk about board policy. I know what the policy states, that we cannot take days off before a long break. Can he deny me the right not to come to work on that day?

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

SC

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Full time, not a union state

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Is this gonna cost me anything?

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Employment Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,569
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance. (The system will automatically generate a phone call request to you. Unless I specifically state, during our discussion, that a phone call is possible, I intend to just use this chat format as I am not in a position to accept a phone call).

It will only cost you if you review the answer and accept it. This is intended to be a pay site, however, you can review the response risk free and not have to pay before you even know if the response is helpful.

To your question, an employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations to the practice of religion. While an employer can certainly point to a policy that they have in place, they can't blindly point to it without considering whether or not they can reasonably accommodate the request.

In this instance, while they certainly have to look at their policies and take those into consideration, they would not be able to say "it's against policy, so sorry." They would have to state that allowing an accommodation, in variance of the policy, is not a "reasonable accommodation" because of.....

If they can't articulate a reason beyond simply policy, and a reason that makes sense to you, then I would file a complaint with the EEOC alleging religious discrimination by failure to reasonably accommodate.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Please DON’T rate my service until after you have asked any follow up questions that you have, so that I have the best opportunity to earn all 5 stars. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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