What Can You do About Sabbath Issues at Work?

Walter Carson speaking at a Religious Liberty day at Sligo Church in Takoma Park, Md.

Walter Carson speaking at a Religious Liberty day at Sligo Church in Takoma Park, Md. | Photo by Michael McKinnis

Photo by Michael McKinnis

The Columbia Union’s own Walter Carson, Esq., is the only Adventist to successfully argue before the U.S. Supreme Court. In Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Commission of Florida, the Court reversed the appeals commission’s refusal to provide unemployment benefits to a woman who was fired for refusing to work on Sabbath. The Court found that a state could not treat a religious convert differently than a person whose beliefs preceded her employment.

Carson reminds us that the Civil Rights Act requires an employer to “reasonably accommodate” a person’s religious beliefs in the workplace. If you face Sabbath issues at your job, he suggests taking the following steps:

1. Alert your supervisor in writing of the need for a Sabbath accommodation. Your church pastor can help you write a letter.

2. Cooperate with your employer to find an accommodation, seeking assistance from your local conference or union religious liberty director.

3. If disciplined, be prepared to file charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

4. Take your situation to the Lord and ask for His guidance.

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