Can I be denied a days off request to attend church if another employee already has that day off and is unwilling to change their schedule?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be denied a days off request to attend church if another employee already has that day off and is unwilling to change their schedule?

I recently put in a request to my supervisor requesting Sundays and Mondays off. Sundays for church and Mondays for doctors’ appointments, since I am also pregnant. There is only one other person that works with me in our department. The other person currently has Saturdays and Sundays off. I was told that I can not have Sundays off because the other person was unwilling to change their days off. The other person started with the company one week before me but we started our current positions on the same day. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on August 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Under federal law, an employer may not discriminate on the basis of religion. Therefore, it is required to make "reasonable accommodations" for an employee's religious beliefs unless doing so would place an "undue hardship" on the employer. Accordingly, if a company/business can show that accommodating a worker's religious practices requires more that basic administrative costs, diminishes workplace efficiency, infringes on other employees' job rights, impairs safety, conflicts with another regulation, etc., then it need not make the accomodation. Conversely, however, if your employer can change your work schedule without causing it an undue burden, then it should give you the requested time off. If you feel that your employer's refusal is unreasonable, then you have the right to file a complaint with the EEOC.

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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