Religious accommodation means no Saturdays....ever?

  1. Hey all - I'm looking for input on the following situation:

    a co-worker has been granted a religious accommodation to never work a Saturday (hospital ICU, where everyone is scheduled every other weekend). She does not have to work every Sunday, and they have not filled the hole her not working as created. As you can imagine, our Saturdays are horrible. I have gone to our union - NYSNA - but they are not willing to do anything.
    She is also scheduled 8 hours less every two weeks than the rest of us, yet still maintains full-time benefits even though she is actually working what is considered part-time.
    I'm becoming extremely resentful......am I valid feeling this way, or should I just mind my own business?
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  2. 151 Comments

  3. by   Ruas61
    How is this your business?
  4. by   Cowboyardee
    1 - It is reasonable and common to start feeling envious and undervalued when you see a peer being treated "better" than you by management

    2 - You really have no idea if there are less obvious downsides to your peer's arrangement, if she had to give up some things that you take for granted to get her schedule accommodated.

    3 - It's not your peer's fault. If it bothers you that much, try going to management and renegotiating the terms of your own employment. Maybe they'd accommodate some of your wishes if your continued employment depended on it. Or maybe you'll wind up at another job where everyone is treated more equally. That's just business.

    4 - If you ask me, it's probably too small a thing to devote much mental and emotional energy into. But I'm not you. Still, if you go around constantly on the lookout for anyone getting perks not available to you, you're probably going to be unhappy and envious a lot of the time.
  5. by   Coffee Nurse
    The only part that is your business is the part where your Saturdays are "horrible" (I can't believe that the problem is this one nurse not working them, if you're a unit of any decent size), and that's a matter to take up with your management, not with the union. Talk to your managers about getting better staffing on Saturdays, with concrete examples of how you're stretched thin and/or patient care/safety is being compromised.
  6. by   momto6msn
    Quote from Ruas61
    How is this your business?
    It becomes my business every Saturday when I work short and I end up with 3-4 vents and no lunch/break for 13-14 hrs.....
  7. by   momto6msn
    Quote from Cowboyardee

    3 - It's not your peer's fault. If it bothers you that much, try going to management and renegotiating the terms of your own employment. Maybe they'd accommodate some of your wishes if your continued employment depended on it. Or maybe you'll wind up at another job where everyone is treated more equally. That's just business.
    I have requested the same number of hours scheduled (actually several of us have) and was denied (we all were).
  8. by   Cowboyardee
    Quote from lhamed
    I have requested the same number of hours scheduled (actually several of us have) and was denied (we all were).
    My point was that sometimes you have to threaten to quit (and mean it) in order to get what you want. Most likely, your coworker would not accept the job offered to her unless she was off Saturdays. Management gave in because they wouldn't get her otherwise... and quite likely because they figured that making a religious exception is easier to justify than making policy exceptions for other reasons.

    I'm not trying to mislead you here - there is a VERY good chance that if you line up another job and tell management you're leaving if your hours aren't reconsidered, they'll tell you not to let the door hit you on the way out. The point was really just that you don't actually have any leverage unless you have another offer lined up and are willing to take it unless management gives in.

    And with that said, there are plenty of hospitals that don't make the kinds of concessions for religious practices that it seems your hospital makes. Doesn't mean they'll be better in any other way necessarily. But if you're regularly taking 4 vented critical care patients as you said a couple posts ago, it sounds like your ICU isn't necessarily one you want to be committed to long-term anyway. Tripling is bad enough.
  9. by   soutthpaw
    What religion bans working on weekends? maybe lots of nurses would be interested in joining???
  10. by   Coffee Nurse
    Quote from soutthpaw
    What religion bans working on weekends? maybe lots of nurses would be interested in joining???
    Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath. It doesn't "ban working on weekends."
  11. by   CelticGoddess
    Quote from soutthpaw
    What religion bans working on weekends? maybe lots of nurses would be interested in joining???
    Seventh day churches also celebrate the sabbath on sat (or from sundown friday to sundown sat)
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Coffee Nurse
    Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath. It doesn't "ban working on weekends."
    Saturday is also the day Seventh Day Adventists worship. If I remember right, there is a more literal interpretation in some congregations that say you shouldn't work on the Sabbath.

    OP - You need to not put up with unsafe staffing. Stand your ground. I know it is hard but it isn't good for you or your patients. This really doesn't have to do with the nurse who gets Saturdays off but with your management not safely staffing for patient care.
  13. by   nrsang97
    I worked in an ICU where a coworker preached at a church every Sunday. In exchange for every Sunday off to fulfill his committment to his church, he worked every Saturday. I thought that was a fair exchange.

    I am sorry your hospital does not take patient safety seriously. Having 3 or 4 vented patients is very unsafe. I think I would just have to look elsewhere for employment if they are not willing to staff safely.
  14. by   Ruas61
    Quote from momto6msn
    It becomes my business every Saturday when I work short and I end up with 3-4 vents and no lunch/break for 13-14 hrs.....
    That's management's fault. If they accommodate that request.

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