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requesting for 2 weeks personal leave of abscence

by Karen Acosta
(Tarpon Spring, Fl, USA)

when i interviewed i told the director that i would need 13 days off in april to participate in family religious ceremonies, was told it should not be a problem. on 2nd week of being employed i submitted vacation request, was told to submit it in Jan. since it pertained to 2009. so in Jan. i submitted it again. 11 days before i was to go on vacation i received a letter from company stating , we will grant you 5 days off, we will not approve leave of absence , and if you do not return on day 6 you will be terminated. also, they said 5 working days plus the weekend should be sufficient time to fulfill my religious obligations.


Hi Karen,

Wow, what a surprise. An employer, although duly informed before hire is now not holding true to what you thought was NOT going to be a problem if you accepted the job. I'll bet you didn't ask for anything in writing nor did you put anything in writing which included this little tidbit.

But I'll bet you did sign some form acknowledging that you received the employer's rules which can be used to prove you were made fully aware of the employer's rules and expectations.

You have two choices.

1. You comply with the employer.
2. You do not comply and hope that you can prove you had good cause
to quit due to this situation. (I think I would be talking to that director ASAP, just so you can show you did make an effort to get this straitened out amicably and keep your job.)

If you choose not to comply, your failure to return as scheduled and required by the employer will be seen a a voluntary quit by job abandonment. The burden to show good cause will be yours.

How many people out there wind up between a rock and a hard place because of situations like this?

A whole lot, I say.

I suggest you read some articles about your specific problem which is a conflict between religion and the workplace. It's a matter of your "Civil Rights". You may find some information to help persuade the employer that they are being "unreasonable" by not granting you the additional time.

You need to take some action now. I cannot guarantee you could win this one. It will depend upon your ability to shift the burden back to the employer. Make the effort to fully explain the nature of the obligations and the need for 13 not nine days. Bring up the fact that you accepted the job because of the fact that you were "led" to believe this would not present a problem for the employer.

No guarantees that it will work.

Here's a couple articles to get you started.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/management/legalissues/legalissuescolumnistjeffreysteinberger/article184334.html

http://www.religioustolerance.org/harra_wk.htm

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