If I'm scheduled to work on a Sunday or

Told to get full time pay by coming in on Sunday, can I legally tell my boss that my faith says that it’s a sin, without being punished (fired, or given a point on my record)?

Would they legally be bound to work with me on finding an alternative?

Should I ever do this in the first place, or just work it? Sometimes I’ve worked on a Sunday, even though if the schedule was rearranged I wouldn’t have to (but I don’t make the schedule choices).

We’re not lawyers (and you don’t even say which legal jurisdiction you write from). We don’t give legal advice here.

But, apologetically speaking, you may be overstating your case. It’s not necessarily a sin to work on Sunday. The Catechism says:

On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health. CCC 2185]

You don’t say what type of work you do (which may constitute an important social service), or if your family is dependent on this income for basic necessities (which would constitute a family need). Furthermore, work may be permissible provided other aspects of the Lord’s day are not neglected. FWIW, MOST people work on most Holy Days of Obligation (which often occur on a weekday).

My apologies.

I merely meant to ask if I should ever be concerned about having a conflict between faith and work, and if I should be safe to give my faith as a reason for not working. Figured it fell under religious freedom or something (I’m from the United States).

My job is not an important job to society, as in the absence of this job wouldn’t be considered needed like a hospital or police officer.

I support myself, and if needed I could probably work less than full time, but it would be pretty rough I’d say.

I meant no disrespect.


I never thought you did.

Can you simply ask the manager to not schedule you on Sunday? I would try that, before flat-out refusing to work on Sunday (and citing legal statutes).

Well, yes, but I’d have to ask off on that day…If I were scheduled, which is very rarely.

Most times my work schedule is 40 hours a week or more, sometimes less. It’s on these occasions when I will be able to get that missing time by working on the weekend.

However, I have to sign up to work those days on the weekend, and sometimes Saturday isn’t available for working on.

So, if I’m put in between a rock and a hard place, I’m wondering if hypothetically it would be within my religious freedom, and maybe moral obligation even, to state that the option of working on Sunday is not an option for me.

I do not think that Catholicism would mandate this. It would appear to me that it would be morally acceptable to work on Sunday in such a case. However, note the “I do not think” and “it would appear to me”: your best bet is to contact your parish priest.

As to if you could, should you end up refusing to work on Sundays, claim legal protection - you would have to ask a lawyer.

If you told your employer when you were hired that you couldn’t work Sundays and Holy Days, that would be one thing. To suddenly come up with that after you’ve been there a while is another, especially when, as pointed out above, it’s not a sin to work on Sundays if your job requires it.

If your faith is Catholic, that is not what the Church teaches. So, no, you could not use the Catholic faith as a reason that you cannot work on Sunday.

I suppose that depends in part on the law where you live. In general, in the US, employers can make accommodations but are not required to do so.

Many people must work on Sundays.

If you are Catholic, and can go to Mass on Saturday or sometimeon Sunday outside your shift time, you need to do so. If that’s not possible, then perhaps the accommodation you should ask for is a break time or lunch time during which you can go to Mass, or a start/end time that allows you to catch a Mass. You can also ask that you not be scheduled EVERY Sunday.

If that is not possible-- for example a nurse or fireman who has to work both Saturday and Sunday as has no access to Mass-- then a dispensation can be given by one’s pastor.

If I may…
there’s another angle to the religious aspect of this.

I asked very specifically to work Sundays at a job that was not for the greater good of society, i.e., medical, police, etc.
It was my way of serving Him (after Church!) by giving those with families the day off for the opportunity to serve Him as a whole and just be together, since I was alone. It also served Him by way of being there for others coming to my place of employment who might have otherwise been alone/lonely for the day. And they appreciated it.


I found this on the legal aspect.


Basically, the employer has the obligation to accommodate religious preference, but that accommodation is not absolute, if it cost the employer undue hardship (extra money, loss of productivity, etc.) The sized and type of business would matter, for example.

If you are seldom asked to work Sunday, I would think the case would be hard to make. In any case, practically speaking, if an employee becomes too much of a pain, then their days are usually numbered, as mistakes are easier to forgive for an accommodating employee as opposed to a difficult employee.

Why don’t you talk to your pastor about your concern?

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