Jump directly to the content

The Sabbath and Employment Discrimination

Employers must make efforts to accommodate employees' religious beliefs

Federal
State:
Key point. Employers cannot dismiss or otherwise discriminate against employees who refuse to work on their Sabbath unless accommodating the employee's beliefs would cause an "undue hardship" to the employer.
• A federal appeals court ruled that an employer violated an employee's religious beliefs by refusing to make scheduling adjustments to accommodate the employee's refusal to work on the Sabbath. A member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church applied for a full-time job as a food inspector with the State of California. The Church teaches its members to observe the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday and to refrain from engaging in secular work during that period. It further teaches that repeated violations of the Sabbath observance imperil one's salvation. The applicant had never worked on the Sabbath. Shortly after applying for the job, the applicant informed a ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • May 1, 1997

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Your Guide to Employee Handbooks
Your Guide to Employee Handbooks
If updated regularly, an employee handbook can offer valuable legal protection against civil court claims made by disgruntled staff members.
Understanding Labor Laws
Understanding Labor Laws
Regulations that pertain to hiring, firing, paying, disciplining, and supervising ministry employees.
Essential Guide to Employment Issues for Church Boards
Essential Guide to Employment Issues for Church Boards
Covers selection and screening, dispute resolution, terminations, discrimination, and minimum wage.
Safe Hiring Practices for Churches
Safe Hiring Practices for Churches
Essential items to consider before you bring new clergy or staff on board.