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Old 12-13-2013, 02:06 PM
Location: Chicago
3,070 posts, read 5,322,967 times
Reputation: 3549


Is anyone able to shine any light on the belief itself, or how other companies/jewish folks handle the exception request?

I have an employee who has requested to take off for Shabbat moving forward. Shabbat is apparently every Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown. The problem is that during Shabbat she is unable to use electronics such as cellphones, computers, or televisions. We run email projects which obviously require a computer. Those projects are on a per person basis. So you alone are responsible for ensuring it goes out on time and accurately.

Well if we were to honor this request (which I think we might), then it means we have to pass off her work to the other project managers for them to handle. The problem with that is that they may not be up to speed with what the project is! Also, I have had performance issues from this person in the past where she just up and left work in the middle of the day to attend a fitness class and run other errands. So I am concerned that she might slack on Friday knowing that she won't have to handle the workload later in the night to get it out the door.

So my questions are: What do you think our options are? How do other Jewish folks get by in today's electronically dependent world?

P.S. This wasn't brought up during the interview and the first 9 months of her working here she never once requested this kind of preferential treatment even having worked during Shabbat. I hope I don't sound religiously insensitive, but this is a big deal when it comes to working here.

Last edited by ChiGuy2.5; 12-13-2013 at 02:15 PM..
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:13 PM
Location: Long Island
1,721 posts, read 1,388,876 times
Reputation: 1417
It depends on the individual. Under Jewish law, the work restrictions are almost absolute; the only allowable exemption is for saving a life. Many people find their level of observance changing as they live and change as people. It sounds like your employee is choosing to become a more observant Jew, and, as far as I'm concerned, that is to be applauded.

As for your options, it is going to depend on federal law, your state's labor laws, and your company's policies.

Shabbat shalom.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:29 PM
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,115,423 times
Reputation: 1399
What hours are your employees normally expected to work?

Outside of those hours, they should not have to work.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:02 PM
3,962 posts, read 3,345,152 times
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Is it possible for the work to be done late Saturday night or any time Sunday? I'm sure she would be grateful for the opportunity to complete it then.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:25 PM
2,391 posts, read 4,048,532 times
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If someone needs to be off for the Sabbath, they should be getting a job that would allow them to be off on the days they need to. Some jobs have requirements they have to follow and won't allow you off, such as a hospital. When I was working in a hospital, I HAD to work every other weekend. If I didn't or called in sick, I'd have to make it up again, and on a weekend. I always asked for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur off, but one year, the supervisor wouldn't let me. Anyways, if you have rules set in place in your small company you should follow it and not allow her/him to be off every week. Because what you do for one, someone else will want privileges too for whatever reason.
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