In California I was hired for certain hours and now the employer is changing the hours.
In the state of California I was hired for certain hours. Informed them when hired I was not available on Sundays due to religious reasons and can work until 6pm due to freelance work (another job). Everything has been great for the last year and a half until my boss informed me "the needs of the business have changed" and I would not be able to get every Sundays off and I would have to work passed 6pm if I still wanted to work. I reminded him I could not work passed 6pm due to prior engagements and he stated "It sounds like you are telling me you no longer want to work here" The next week he put me on the schedule to work passed 6pm. Not sure what I can and should do at this point since I have already reminded him I can't work passed 6pm. Also wondering if this is grounds for unemployment if they fire me/lay me off.
This is one of those "reasons" that requires a person to find out if there state has anything specific in the statute or how their state has decided past similar situations. This can be difficult to do in most states, but fortunately you live in California.
The only reason you gave that is uniform from state to state is "religious reasons" and that's because Federal law is involved.
California has the Benefit Determination Guide.
I really like this guide. All states should be required to make one available under those broad federal guidelines. It's like .. ahhhh .. playing fair.
From what you told me, I have ascertained that the employer is creating a situation for which they will be able to say you quit your job for personal reasons .. but I suggest you read the information in the guide regarding:
Working conditions - Agreement of Hire.
Wages and Time - Specifically Time.
VQ90 - Religious objections
And for good measure Misconduct - General
The last section is because your situation may require the state to actually identify who the moving party really was.
So yes, I think your situation contains the elements for getting unemployment .. if you focus on the correct aspects and Prove that the employer changed the agreement of hire.
The basic problem people have in doing so is that they have nothing in writing to prove the employer agreed to what they say were the conditions upon hire and they don't know how to overcome that.