Can a grocery store require me to work on Sunday’s?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can a grocery store require me to work on Sunday’s?

I’m trying to work with my employer on working on Sundays. I used to go to church every Sunday. Yet, they may grant me a later work arrival on Sunday, say 1 pm, once a month. However, they refuse to consider my religious belief on going to church every Sunday morning and allow me to work anytime after 1 pm every Sunday. I feel I’m being discriminated against for I see my co-workers getting their work schedule adjusted and it’s not for religious reasons, they just want a more accommodating schedule. Now my employer often has me work the closing shift on Saturday, then a late morning shift on Sunday making it impossible to either attend a Saturday night service or a Sunday morning service. What are my legal rights for me to practice my religion and go to church every Sunday?

Asked on August 5, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the nature of your employer and job. An employer has an obligation to make "reasonable accommodations" to employee religion. A reasonable accommodation is a change which is not too disruptive or expensive for the employer. There are jobs where not working Sunday morning is a minor inconvenience at best for the employer and they have to accommodate you--e.g. at businesses where Sunday morning is just another day, no more or less important than other days/times. And there are businesses where not having an employee Sunday morning is a severe hardship for an employer--for example, certain restaurants (like bagel shops or diners) where a very large percentage of their business is Sunday morning breakfast and brunch. 
If the Sunday time you want off would not present an undue burden on your employer, they have to accomodate you; if they don't, you can contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil righs agency about filing a complaint. But if Sunday morning is critical to your employer's business, they don't have to give you it off.

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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