Can a city manager restrict a city employee from working on a Sunday strictly for religious reason?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a city manager restrict a city employee from working on a Sunday strictly for religious reason?

I have been limited to working only on Saturdays as before I would work Saturday and finish what I wasn’t able to complete from Saturday on Sunday. I was told by my supervisor, that because the city manager was a religious man, he did not want me working on Sunday. Is this legal? Overtime is where I make the bigger part of my paycheck. Also, this manager has threatened to eliminate pay raises to those who have been caught using curse words. At which point, or how far does the 1st Amendment go when it comes to freedom of speech for a governmental municipality?

Asked on July 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) No, an employee, city or otherwise, may not impose his religious values on employees; the specifically prohibits religious-based discrimination in employment, and "discrimination" includes forcing other employees to follow your religion's rules. You could potentially file a religious-based employment discrimination complaint against your employer with the EEOC.
2) However, the employer may prevent you from using profanity at work. Even if this is based in part (or even whole) on his religious scruples, employees may legally set rules for work decorum and behavior and may bar unprofessional or potentially offensive conduct at work, which the use of profanity would be. (I.e. outside of religous values, profanity is broadly or generally seen as inappropriate at work.)  He cannot punish you for using it offsite or when not at work, but can legally say that cursing at work is inappropriate (which it is).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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