Can My Employer Deny Me Permission to Take Off For a Religious Holiday?

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Can My Employer Deny Me Permission to Take Off For a Religious Holiday?

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You should expect that your employer will respect your faith and allow you to take time off for a religious holiday. Things do not always work out this way though, and that is when you may need the assistance of an Atlanta religious discrimination attorney.

What Does State Law Say About Time Off for a Religious Holiday?

The state does actually recognize the right to have some holidays off. However, GA Code § 1-4-1 actually only addresses public and legal holidays designated by the federal government. Many religious holidays do not fall under this distinction.

Employees of state departments or agencies do have some protections here though. They should be given priority consideration for time off when they are celebrating a religious holiday, and the only way it should be denied is if the employee has not accrued enough time off.

Does Federal Law Require Time Off for a Religious Holiday?

If you are not a state employee, you have to look into federal regulations that can protect you from religious discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on religion, and that also covers a refusal to accommodate an employee when they request time off for a religious holiday.

Generally, an employer must do what they can to ensure that an employee is able to get the time off that they need in order to celebrate their religious holiday. They can usually only get out of this by claiming that the religious accommodation is going to cause an “undue hardship” on their business.

This can mean that giving an employee time off can cause a significant issue that affects the day-to-day operations of the business. Their time off could:

  • Mean that there is a lack of critical staff members
  • Create a security or health issue
  • Violate an established system of seniority and benefits

If this time off for a religious holiday would cause undue hardship, they can allow other employees to voluntarily exchange shifts or come to work in your place so that you can celebrate a religious holiday. If this does not work out, your employer can usually say that they did their best to try and oblige you.

How Can an Employment Attorney Help Me?

A seasoned employment lawyer from our firm can help you determine whether or not your workplace violated federal law when declining your request for time off. We can look at the facts and see if you are facing religious discrimination in your workplace. If you are, we will do everything that we can to help you fight back.

Call and Schedule a Consultation

If you suspect that you are being discriminated against on religious grounds, do not put up with that treatment for one more day. Contact Ben Barrett Law and schedule a consultation. We can tell you more about your legal options and if your employer needs to be held accountable.

Our Philosophy

Our firm hand-selects challenging, complex cases that other attorneys won’t touch so we can deliver the highly-personalized attention your case deserves. From consultation to trial, we advocate for employees’ rights, every step of the way.

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We base our practice on the principles of service and care. We take the time to truly know each and every client, and we put all of our energy into obtaining the best outcome possible, time and time again.

Our Definition Of Success

We will prosecute your case to the fullest extent possible. If you’ve been wronged by an employer in Georgia, you can count on Ben Barrett Law to fight for you.

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