religious sabbath and scheduling

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

religious sabbath and scheduling

I am a Messianic Jew and as such observe the Sabbath from sundown
Friday to sundown Saturday. My employer continues to schedule me on
Friday nights and Saturdays. Do I have any legal grounds to refuse to
work. They are aware of my religious convictions. Thank you

Asked on April 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the nature of the job. If you are in position where you could work other days or hours while doing your job, they have to accommodate you. But if the nature of this job is that you have to work Friday night or Saturday during the day to do the job, they can insist you do the job--or terminate you if you can't work. 
For example: say you work in a company and position where there are several or even many people working different shifts, so they could move someone without a religious concern to cover Friday night through Saturday sundown and move you to a different shift--in that case, they have to.
On the other hand, say you work as a waiter for a non-Jewish restaurant that has Friday night and Saturday lunch to early dinner as some of its most imporant shifts; they don't need a waiter who can't work those hours. In that case, since moving you to their slow days means you're not doing the job, they don't have to move you.
It depends, therefore, on the position and whether you can be accommodated or not. If you can be accommodated, they need to accommodate you.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption