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Still Waters

Christian worker sues over Sunday shifts

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Children's care worker Celestina Mba, 58, will say that an employer has a duty to "reasonably accommodate" the beliefs of a Christian worker.

Ms Mba brought the original claim after her employer, which offers 24-hour care for disabled children, would not promise her that she would never be put on shift on a Sunday.

The Baptist and mother of three told The Sunday Times she had faced criticism for her stance but argued she was not trying to impose her beliefs on anyone else.

http://www.telegraph...day-shifts.html

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people first, religion last

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Children's care worker Celestina Mba, 58, will say that an employer has a duty to "reasonably accommodate" the beliefs of a Christian worker.

Ms Mba brought the original claim after her employer, which offers 24-hour care for disabled children, would not promise her that she would never be put on shift on a Sunday.

The Baptist and mother of three told The Sunday Times she had faced criticism for her stance but argued she was not trying to impose her beliefs on anyone else.

http://www.telegraph...day-shifts.html

These children need constant care......seven days a week, not six! If she is going to be in this line of work, then her primary duty is to the children. Her religion comes second. If this is her stance, then I think a different career needs to be looked at.

Obviously these children are not her primary concern.....

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She needs to work along with the other workers. It is nonsense for someone to say that they can't work on Sundays, people still need to be taken care of and it forces others to work more Sundays than they need to. Perhaps if the other workers agreed,but I think that may not be the case.

peace

mark

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She is being ridiculous. Hope she wastes money on this pathetic attempt to make some cash.

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Can you imagine what would happen if all these highly religious people did this?

At some point a line needs to be drawn as there is only so far you can continually accommodate everyone.

In the health care field your priority is to your patients, their health problems won't take a hiatus just because you feel you shouldn't do your job on a particular day.

If I was in such a position, my job and the people I am responsible for are FAR more important than what a religious books says

But Euphorbia is right, if this is the woman's stance then maybe she needs to explore other avenues in her career.

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I'm of a couple minds about this.

In one of the connected articles, she claims that when she was first hired in 2007, the company agreed to her request of not working Sundays. It was after that initial agreement that they wanted her to work Sundays.

She also said she offered to cover more nights and Saturdays instead, and other workers have offered to cover her Sundays instead, but that was refused.

But there's some missing information. Like, what was the hours policy when she got hired, and has it changed since then? Were other people given a choice or had an agreement with the employer for other days off? Do they allow shift trading otherwise?

I did find it interesting that she resigned in 2010, has not found employment elsewhere, and now is suing the company.

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Add in that Christianity doesn't actually teach that you must go to a specific building every Sunday, I think she can't sue for her job infringing on her religious needs.

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In one of the connected articles, she claims that when she was first hired in 2007, the company agreed to her request of not working Sundays. It was after that initial agreement that they wanted her to work Sundays.

She also said she offered to cover more nights and Saturdays instead, and other workers have offered to cover her Sundays instead, but that was refused.

These things alone make me take her side. She's willing to be flexible and make arrangements to allow her accommodation, but for some reason, the company refuses?

Sounds to me like someone made a decision when she was hired, but then the responsibility passed to someone who didn't like that decision for some reason (or perhaps didn't like her personally). They decided to use her requirements to push her out.

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These things alone make me take her side. She's willing to be flexible and make arrangements to allow her accommodation, but for some reason, the company refuses?

Sounds to me like someone made a decision when she was hired, but then the responsibility passed to someone who didn't like that decision for some reason (or perhaps didn't like her personally). They decided to use her requirements to push her out.

She wasn't pushed put......she quit. She even claimed that god came before her own children. This woman cared about god more than her own children, as well as those she was in charge of taking care of.

She should not be caring for children when she deems them less important than having Sundays off.

Working on Sunday should in no way diminish her faith. She can still quietly pray and think of god while she works.

I have no sympathy for her......none!

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Not sure, but I think "Seventh Day Adventists" also advocate the "no work on Sunday"

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Not sure, but I think "Seventh Day Adventists" also advocate the "no work on Sunday"

Except for the fact that Seventh Day Adventists hold Saturday sacred, so you may have to amend this to "no work on Saturday" (I'm not certain what their stance is for professions like doctors or police who are often on-call 24/7).

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The seven day week is one of the worst offenses committed by ancient religions. It renders designing a reasonable calendar almost impossible -- in fact absolutely impossible -- look at the mess we have of varying length months and the days of the month occurring on random days of the week, and interlocutory days, and so on.

Some of the problems come from the fact that the diurnal and annual rotations of the earth are not a rational fraction, and some comes from trying to include the moon in it all, but of these the only variable we could use to make it simpler would be having a ten day week, but religion makes that impossible.

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I've never had problems with the seven-day cycle. But then, I'm rather laid back about this sort of thing. I think most people are.

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I guess it's kinda like using American feet and miles rather than the rest of the world's meters and kilometers. The latter is sensible and makes the world a little easier, the former is just nonsense that Americans stick with because they don't want to allow that someone else might have developed a better system.

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she is being a nilly.

When I got hired at my job, I understood I would be on a flex shift. I signed up for evening/second shift, that shift is from 11:30 am till 11 pm. I would work an 8.5 hour shift (you have to work the extra for lunch), and the hours would be from those hours listed, monday through friday, and if they wanted/needed you for saturday, you would work 8:30 am till 5 pm or 8a, till 4:30 pm.. and then get one day off durig the week, unless overtime is approved

I also understood that on some days when it is really really slow ad little to no work to be done, they will send you home on Lack of Work for that day. if you have vacation time, you can use some of that time to make up for what you miss, so you get a 40 hour pay, but if not? you just know, your check will be short.

We knew/know this at time of gaining a job.

We can whine all we want, but when we accept employment there, that is what we agree too (i agree to it, as we have good benefits!)

She knew she may need to work some sundays, if she was not willing, instead of legal actions or anytihng, she should just NOT have taken the job to begin with.

Unless she enjoys the drama.

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In America if you can get a good lawyer and are lucky with the jury, you can walk away with millions using such set-ups.

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I guess it's kinda like using American feet and miles rather than the rest of the world's meters and kilometers. The latter is sensible and makes the world a little easier, the former is just nonsense that Americans stick with because they don't want to allow that someone else might have developed a better system.

I guess I just can't see how this is (to quote your own views): " one of the worst offenses committed by ancient religions". As said, I've got no issue with seven-day weeks. Heck, even your ten-day week suffers since there are 364.25 days per year (what happens with the 4.25 remaining days). It also suffers from a 10 or 12 month cycle (July and August weren't originally in the calendar - blame the Romans for that, Julius and Augustus).

To be honest, it sounds like an extreme anti-religionist to use such harsh terms as "worst offenses" to refer to something as irrelevant as the days of the week.

Edit - who do we blame for daylight savings? Yes, I'm being flippant, but I'm making a point as well. I honestly cannot fathom the hatred you hold to this except for the fact it's religious. Why isn't the American mathematical system among the "worst offenses" committed against the human race?

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Part of this dispute is whether or not her original terms of employment included any promises of Sundays off and/or flexibility of shift-swapping. That's a labor issue. If there were no such written or verbal agreements (verbal contracts may be enforceable), there may be no case at all. If there is original documentation, then it could amount to the kind of lawsuit Frank referred to above. In our litigious American culture, anything could happen.

Another aspect of the dispute is the religious one. Different states make different accommodations for religious practice, and some local judges (and not just in the 'Bible Belt') would make an order in the interests of perceived 'fairness.' Even secular courts of law in the US can show remarkable flexibility with and sensitivity to individuals making claims of religious liberty. There is some federal law which governs, in a broad sense, such disputes, and perhaps some state statues pertain. In so many US civil court cases, though, citation of case law prevails over generalized principles. Whoever argues most convincingly from precedent tends to "win."

But no one really wins when someone presses individual rights to an extreme; one could say it is "extremely individualistic," which is antithetical to the Christian life. In lieu of any contractural agreements regarding Sunday shifts, I'd suggest this individual is a loser---in more ways than one.

Edited by szentgyorgy

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Part of this dispute is whether or not her original terms of employment included any promises of Sundays off and/or flexibility of shift-swapping. That's a labor issue. If there were no such written or verbal agreements (verbal contracts may be enforceable), there may be no case at all. If there is original documentation, then it could amount to the kind of lawsuit Frank referred to above. In our litigious American culture, anything could happen.

Another aspect of the dispute is the religious one. Different states make different accommodations for religious practice, and some local judges (and not just in the 'Bible Belt') would make an order in the interests of perceived 'fairness.' Even secular courts of law in the US can show remarkable flexibility with and sensitivity to individuals making claims of religious liberty. There is some federal law which governs, in a broad sense, such disputes, and perhaps some state statues pertain. In so many US civil court cases, though, citation of case law prevails over generalized principles. Whoever argues most convincingly from precedent tends to "win."

But no one really wins when someone presses individual rights to an extreme; one could say it is "extremely individualistic," which is antithetical to the Christian life. In lieu of any contractural agreements regarding Sunday shifts, I'd suggest this individual is a loser---in more ways than one.

If she has a written contract stipulating that she would always have Sundays off then she might have a chance, but a verbal agreement is difficult if not impossible prove.

I see this as giving Christians special treatment. Why can they force a company to give them Sundays off while I as an atheist cannot?

Bottom line is she worked in a field that requires someone to always be there. If her name comes up in the rotation to work on Sundays then she should be obliged to work them. No special treatment should be given. She is suing because she can't find another job and so someone must pay. Since she quit, then I say tough.....

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I don't fathom her mindset.

Priests/nuns/clergy - pastors and missionaries of many christian denominations care for the sick and disabled or hungry etc in many of the worst parts of the world 7 days a week - that's their calling to help others, she is looking after disabled children, it is disingenuous to look upon such a responsibility as a job that infringes on her religious principles.

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I see this as giving Christians special treatment. Why can they force a company to give them Sundays off while I as an atheist cannot?

The many Jews I know who honor the Sabbath simply don't take jobs that require them to work on it. They don't ask for special treatment.

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The latter is sensible and makes the world a little easier, the former is just nonsense that Americans stick with because they don't want to allow that someone else might have developed a better system.

And speaking of nonsense.... Please name some of these Americans who 'don't want to allow that someone else might have developed a better system'. I don't know of any American that doesn't think that the metric system is superior and makes more sense, it's simply a matter of this being the measurement system we have always used and the extent of the changes that would be required to implement the metric system across the board, along with the lack of incentives for us to change; not that we think this system is superior. There's plenty of legitimate things to attack concerning the farcical concept of American exceptionalism that some Americans falsely believe in without going overboard and making statements like this based on bad stereotypes.

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And speaking of nonsense.... Please name some of these Americans who 'don't want to allow that someone else might have developed a better system'. I don't know of any American that doesn't think that the metric system is superior and makes more sense, it's simply a matter of this being the measurement system we have always used and the extent of the changes that would be required to implement the metric system across the board, along with the lack of incentives for us to change; not that we think this system is superior. There's plenty of legitimate things to attack concerning the farcical concept of American exceptionalism that some Americans falsely believe in without going overboard and making statements like this based on bad stereotypes.

The metric system is now taught in our educational system. I'd tend to go with you the cost to benefit ratio in converting to metric is most likely the issue, more then anything else.

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@ Euphorbia: Nothing is certain in American jurisprudence. Witness the US Supreme Court, fawning-over-culture and adjusting-to-political winds. One 'justice' (Thomas) electively mute for years; Scalia voting for what he thought last night. We are to assume they are "wise?"

@ scowl: I went to a New York State university, which system which honored Rosh Hoshanah (sp?) and Yom Kippur, but not Good Friday.

@ Liquid, Frank and Sherapy: The world is subjective, and the American legal system more so. I could argue that my undergraduate degree in Buffalo was compromised by the kow-towing to Hebrew calendar dates; but I'd lose.

This is all legalese, accompanied by common sense---strange bedfellows indeed!

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