Shabbos/Religious Observances - page 14

As I begin the applications process for nursing schools, I have one huuuuge concern - my religious obligations. I am not permitted to work/attend school, etc. from sunset Friday nights until an hour... Read More

  1. by   GreenCCURN
    Quote from Agnus
    Just a little added aside to my previous post. I Attend Church every Sunday that I can. I resent a policy at my hospital that says, if you declare at the time you are hired that your religion does not permit you to work on Sunday you never have to work on Sunday. Excuse me! I would like Sunday off to attend Church as well. The difference is my religion does not provide me the convenient command forbidding me to work.

    So I work over half of the Sundays in a year because of someone else's religion. I have to wonder about the personal ethics of a person that goes into a profession understanding the work is 24/7/365 when such work goes against anything they are willing to do.

    I submit this with respect. At the same time need to express my frustration on the matter.
    No disrespect or frustration being expressed here. If you wanted not to work on Sunday because of religious convictions, why didn't just you tell them that? I can assure you that this commandment is not "convenient", but I feel strongly against earning a living on the Sabbath. I work with quite a few people who have strong convictions against working on Sunday. They are accomodated just as I am for choosing not to work from Friday night sundown to Saturday night sundown. If your place of employment allows seventh day Sabbath keepers that choice, they should allow a Sunday worshipper that choice also. If you feel strongly about not working on Sunday, just talk to your employer about it.
  2. by   vashtee
    Preferring not to work is not the same thing as being unwilling to work on the Sabbath (except in an emergency). Very devout people will often decline a position that would require them to routinely work on Shabbat.

    I don't see why anyone should care what days anyone else has off and how they use those days. I am more concerned with how I spend my own time.
  3. by   lamazeteacher
    Quote from texasmommy
    As I begin the applications process for nursing schools, I have one huuuuge concern - my religious obligations. I am not permitted to work/attend school, etc. from sunset Friday nights until an hour past sunset on Saturday nights because of the Jewish sabbath. I've heard that a lot of programs have 12hr clinicals on Saturdays...yikes! Has anyone "worked it out" with similar obligations?
    I am a relic of hospital Nurses' training, having become an R.N. at The Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Canada. An Orthodox shul was there, and after many discussions the Rabbis decided that working as a Nurse on Shabbos or other religious holy days, is a "mitzvah" (a blessing). If your Rabbi has a differing opinion, I'm sure those Rabbis would be happy to discuss it with yours.
    Having worked for many years in non Jewish settings, I always work Christmas and Easter, which is appreciated by my colleagues. They haven't a problem with me taking Jewish holy days off, but I once had a big showdown with the charge Nurse on nights, who wouldn't give me vacation, so I could go to Toronto to spend Passover with my family there.
    I had to go up the command tree, and got it off, but that charge Nurse on nights continued to hold a grudge against me - which I think has more to do with prejudice, than scheduling. You find that in every walk of life, unfortunately.
  4. by   lamazeteacher
    Quote from TazziRN
    Not trying to be a smartie pants here, but what do hospitals in Israel do? I can pretty much guarantee that pts are not left unattended during the Sabbath. I'm betting that work like caring for the sick would be excused.
    In Israel Soldiers, Nurses and Doctors do work the Sabbath and holy days. (Think the Yom Kippur War). It's considered a "Mitzvah" (blessing) to do that! It's important that we give ourselves the space to do in Nursing what we wouldn't have to do in other professions. Try not to make yourself out to be a "special case".
  5. by   Agnus
    Quote from GreenCCURN
    . If you feel strongly about not working on Sunday, just talk to your employer about it.
    My religion does not require Sunday church attendance and does not hold out that we must not or should not work on Sunday. So saying that I am unable to work because of religious convictions would be unethical.

    What I said was, I would like to be able to attend church every Sunday. There is a difference.

    Please, understand it is possible to feel frustration and even a little anger when someone uses Sunday (a primairly Christian sabbath) as reason not to work. Most Christian faiths do not demand that their followers do not work that day. Most at make allowance for this type of work.

    I can feel frustrated and even a little anger over this because it excludes me. It does not mean that I truly begrudge the person who ask for Sunday based on religion that day off.

    I worked with a minister's wife. She had every Sunday off and to me that was very understandable because as the wife of a minister you often are expected to fulfill certain roles. Especially if you have children you can not expect your minister spouse to attend to them while preparing for service etc. It is kind of like the role of Mrs. Bush in the White House. I get it. I would have been concerned for her if she had to work.

    It is a human response to having known people who admit using this simply as an excuse to get off. Unfortunately sometimes their are people who cite religion as an excuse for something when in reality either their church does not support what they say or that person has no more religion conviction than a turnip. That is what get my goat.

    This does not make me anti Christian or anti religion or anti anything else as I have been accused here. It makes me human.

    To be anti any group of people IS against my religion.

    I do not demand Sunday off simply because I know there are those who do need it off. It is a sabbath, and for those who are not religious it is a day for family and many recreational activities that do not exist on other days.

    I work with many devout Christians. They do not get every Sunday off. Because of that I get to attend Church some weeks and they get to attend some weeks. We take turns.

    Saturday is less of an issue because there are fewer folks who worship on these days or hold them out as a day of total rest. I never said anything negative about Saturday worshipers.

    It is unfortunate that we can not post on a topic where people have a lot of baggage without others reading into a post and putting words in a posters mouth that they never said.
    .
  6. by   Josh L.Ac.
    To take a step back, why is it when people claim "X" to be required for their religious beliefs are they then entitled to make their employer accommodate their request for time off over the needs of others that do not share their beliefs?


    How does "freedom from persecution for religious beliefs" morph into "entitlement to practice religious beliefs" over the needs of fellow co-workers and that of the employer?
  7. by   vashtee
    Quote from Josh L.Ac.
    To take a step back, why is it when people claim "X" to be required for their religious beliefs are they then entitled to make their employer accommodate their request for time off over the needs of others that do not share their beliefs?


    How does "freedom from persecution for religious beliefs" morph into "entitlement to practice religious beliefs" over the needs of fellow co-workers and that of the employer?
    As was previously pointed out, any person who wants any day off for any reason at all has the right to try to negotiate that with the employer. If it is absolutely necessary to an employer that a person works on Saturday, they won't hire someone who won't do it. If it is absolutely necessary that a person have Saturday off, they won't accept a job that won't allow it.

    This seems like a big non-issue to me.
  8. by   Agnus
    Quote from Josh L.Ac.
    How does "freedom from persecution for religious beliefs" morph into "entitlement to practice religious beliefs" over the needs of fellow co-workers and that of the employer?
    I believe in the USA we have legal freedom to practice our respective religions. I also believe there are some laws that require "reasonable accomodation." I do not know this for a fact.

    The key word is reasonable. I think if this were a situation where a very large number were demanding the same particular day off due to religion and refusing to work that day that it would be unreasonable. It would then infringe on the rights of others including those who choose not to practice a religion to have the freedom to have that day off because it is the one day they get to do X or get to spend with family etc. Which really is not a right in the work situation, i.e. we do not have a "right" to expect certain days off. It would also infringe on the rights of patients who reasonably expect sufficient staff to care for them.

    A 24/7 operation like a hospital you hired on knowing full well it is 24/7. It is like when you go into the military during peace time. You go in knowing full well the object of a military is to fight a war where you could suffer and die. Or a police officer knows he could be killed or injured. That is part of the price for accepting that job.

    If you are unwilling to pay the price then I personally (for me) find that you just don't play fair. Yes, life is unfair. I accept that. I accept that everyone does not share my personal sense of right and wrong, my personal values, my personal ethics.

    I do make accomodation for others even when they think differently. This is part of human respect.

    There are other jobs out there that are not 24/7. As in the case of non conscription military or a job as a police officer there are other jobs out there.

    I understand full well everyone does not share my values and sense of right and wrong. It seems sometimes that some think ethics and right and wrong are absolute. These are expressions of values and are very individual.
  9. by   Agnus
    Quote from natania
    As was previously pointed out, any person who wants any day off for any reason at all has the right to try to negotiate that with the employer. If it is absolutely necessary to an employer that a person works on Saturday, they won't hire someone who won't do it. If it is absolutely necessary that a person have Saturday off, they won't accept a job that won't allow it.

    This seems like a big non-issue to me.
    The fact this discussion started say it is and issue. An employer can indeed get in trouble for not hiring someone who refuses to work on certain days based on religion. THis person can easily bring charges of religious discrimination and in a sense it is.
  10. by   RN1989
    Quote from Kimbalou
    yes, it is from the Seventh-Day Adventist church. They also observe the Sabbath like Orthodox Jews do. (by observing it on Sat.) They do not believe the Sabbath was changed to Sunday.
    I found the site helpful in explaining the Sabbath.
    Are there any SDA's here? Maybe they could share their experience.
    Yes, I am here. Seventh Day Adventists do observe the Sabbath but not to the stringent guidelines that many Jews do.

    The Seventh Day Adventist church operates many hospitals as well as medical and nursing schools. Necessary work is allowed to be performed on Sabbath. Such as taking care of sick people. Goes back to the Bible and the whole helping your neighbor get his ox out of a ditch on Sabbath being ok. That said, things that involve office work is not absolutely necessary and is avoided thus nurse managers would not be working unless they were working the floors and education classes would be scheduled for another day. Only essential personnel would be on duty.

    The SDA hospitals I have worked in also observed Sabbath in that we did not do unecessary procedures once the sun went down on Friday until the sun went down again on Saturday night. If it was imperative to keeping a person alive, then we did labs, xrays, procedures. However unless it was life and death, a routine checkup type lab would wait until after sundown. Never did this compromise patient safety. And it was a welcome time because the hospital was less hectic and there was a sense of peace that even the patients felt during that 24 hour time period.

    There are some SDA healthcare workers who do not feel that it is ok to work on Sabbath, regardless of the church's viewpoint. They make sure to take jobs that do not require work on Sabbath. There are other SDA healthcare workers who give the pay that they make for working on Sabbath to the church as an offering so that they feel better about "working" on Sabbath.

    I can tell you that I have never appreciated being a Seventh Day Adventist more than as an adult. In today's world we are so caught up in our rat race that we often have difficulty slowing down. It is wonderful to have a day to rest. A day to go to church and commune with God and others who believe as you do. A day to set aside the cares of this world......

    I find it refreshing that TexasMommy is living her religion on a daily basis and not just when it is convenient for her. The traditions of Judaism are wonderful and I am looking forward to having latkes for dinner since it is Chanukah.
  11. by   Agnus
    Quote from RN1989

    There are some SDA healthcare workers who do not feel that it is ok to work on Sabbath, regardless of the church's viewpoint. They make sure to take jobs that do not require work on Sabbath. There are other SDA healthcare workers who give the pay that they make for working on Sabbath to the church as an offering so that they feel better about "working" on Sabbath.
    My point exactly. There are trade offs do you honor your beiefs or do you take the job/attend the school. You generally know the trade offs when you go into it. These are individual choices. My point is once you make the choice own it.

    Also this is an example of why I am more interested in what individuals believe than what a particular religion teaches.

    It is my observation that the teachings of a particular religion and those practicing it are sometimes very different. As a nurse it does not matter one wit to me if your religion teaches X when you say it is or believe it is Y. I do not deal with the teachers of your faith I deal with you the individual nurse or patient and your individual take on your religion.

    I have and do study what the teachers and church leaders of various faiths says. I study the history of religions. In practice things are often different for individual people.
    Last edit by Agnus on Dec 7, '07
  12. by   vashtee
    Quote from Agnus
    The fact this discussion started say it is and issue. An employer can indeed get in trouble for not hiring someone who refuses to work on certain days based on religion. THis person can easily bring charges of religious discrimination and in a sense it is.
    I have never heard of a single case where anyone got sued for religious discrimination for not hiring someone who was unwilling to work the necessary hours. Can you? As far as I know, it can only be called religious discrimination if an employer refuses to hire ANY Jews (or Christians, etc.), which is obviously not the case in a hospital.

    Again, I think people would do better to quit worrying about everyone ELSE'S schedule, and started worrying about their own. This isn't a slave nation. If you aren't happy working Sundays, renegotiate your contract or find a different job. ::shrug::
  13. by   RN1989
    Quote from natania
    I have never heard of a single case where anyone got sued for religious discrimination for not hiring someone who was unwilling to work the necessary hours. Can you?
    You may not hear of these things but it does happen. The Seventh Day Adventist church has an entire Religious Liberty Department that helps to mediate problems between employers and their Sabbathkeeping employees. It is much more common than you might think.

    As a teenager, I had an issue with Sabbath work. I applied to a local fast food restaurant and was denied based on refusal to work on Sabbath. At that time, it was just not one of those things that my parents were going to fight. At another fast food job, in my interview I was asked if I was open to flexible hours and working "anytime". I thought that the manager was asking me about if I was available to work late nights. After I was hired and was scheduled for a Friday night and Saturday shifts, I told the manager that I couldn't work. He was angry and that is when our miscommunication in the interview came out. He told me that if he had known that I wasn't able to work on Friday nights and Saturdays he would not have hired me, but that he couldn't fire me now without getting into trouble. Turns out, they were so happy with my work that they begged me not to go away to college. But the fact remains, had he known that I would not work a fast food job on Sabbath - he would not have hired me.

    This kind of thing does not make news but it happens all the time. Even I have been surprised at how often it happens when I hear about it at church. Usually a lawsuit is a last resort though. Our church really tries to avoid that and want to educate employers not sue them, unless absolutely necessary. Also, attorneys only take cases that will get them big bucks. Even if a case is winnable, these types of cases usually do not net them enough cash for the work they do for the attorneys to want to take these types of cases routinely.

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