How to Get Off Work on the Sabbath
How can you get off work so you can enjoy this glorious time of rest? The fact of the matter is that we live in a fallen world. The world at large does not keep the Sabbath. This means we have to request to get the Sabbath off. There are some ways to do this.
The first and easiest way is to see if you can trade shifts with someone else. Let’s say a friend of yours wants off on Sunday to go to church. You want Friday sunset to Saturday sunset off, so you offer to work their Sunday shift as long as they agree to work your shift. Some people might want another day of the week off of work. In this scenario, you just have to find the right person with whom to make a trade.
Always remember that the Sabbath begins and ends at sunset . This means you can work from Friday up until sunset and then again on Saturday after sunset. You might be able to re-arrange your schedule and get the Sabbath off that way. You can always try to find another position at your company that would allow you such freedom. Or, you can look for a different shift within your same position.
If this does not work, then you will need to talk to your supervisor. Thankfully, we have laws to protect our religious beliefs in America. There are links on the BSA website with legal resources (biblesabbath.org). You can meet with your manager or boss and tell them that you need the Sabbath off from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. You can offer to make up the work on other time – say Sunday afternoon – or perhaps come in earlier or work later on a day. In the summer months, sunset is later. You can offer to work later on Friday. In the winter, sunset is earlier. You can offer to work on Saturday after the sun sets.
When you talk to your employer, you want to show the employer how important it is that you work for their company and how you enjoy working for them. During the conversation, you can say something such as: “Company ABC has been really good to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the team here, and I would love to continue to do so. I have recently come into a religious conviction where I need to be off from Friday sunset through Saturday sunset to observe the Sabbath. I am willing to work a little earlier or later on other days to make up any hours, even if it means working on Sunday. I desire to remain part of the team here at Company ABC.”
This kind of conversation can be adjusted when you are applying for a new job. It would be great to show enthusiasm about the job and the type of work you will be doing. You may have to “sell it”.
If, for some reason, you cannot get through to the employer in any of these ways, then it would be time to find a new job!
This is a web link to help you understand your legal rights to have the Jewish Sabbath and Feast Days off from work: http://www.jlaw.com/LawPolicy/accommodation.html
If you are ever discriminated against because of your religious beliefs, call the local EEOC – the Equal Employment Opportunity Center – or a local lawyer to file a suit. There are laws that protect your religious liberties in this nation.
Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President – www.biblesabbath.org