Gurglin’ Guideon Cavatelli is upset with his boss Shank Brisket. Cavatelli and his fellow believers at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster celebrate the third Wednesday in December by taking a pilgrimage to the Great Pasta Patch to try to catch the Flying Spaghetti Monster rising up to spread carbohydrate girth and mirth to all worthy adults. Cavatelli doesn’t have the dough to go. Worse, Shank won’t let him take time off because Black Friday was not black enough. Mr. Brisket tells Cavatellihe can take off the day before Christmas just like everyone else. Cavatelli demands double pay from Shank if he has to work his Church holiday. Otherwise, Cavatelli tells Shank, he will throw Shank into the sous sauce.
No Federal law requires Shank to provide time off, paid or otherwise (much less premium pay) to Cavatelli even if the Flying Spaghetti Monster Pilgrimage is a nationally recognized holiday. Nor is Mr. Brisket required to pay holiday time off to Cavatelli who is an hourly employee – only time actually worked. If Mr. Brisket does provide a paid holiday, the paid hours do not count as hours worked for purposes of determining whether Cavatelli is entitled to overtime pay. To be eligible for overtime, Cavatelli must actually work 40 hours in a week.
Tilting the Scales in Your Favor
One of the easiest and non-political ways to eliminate this type of conflict is to offer a “floating holiday” in addition to regularly scheduled holidays. This allows employees to take time off for religious observances not covered by the employer’s holiday schedule. Courts addressing the issue of religious accommodation generally agree that unpaid time off can be a reasonable accommodation, as can allowing an employee to use a vacation day to observe a religious holiday.
Amazingly, you can learn more about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster at Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster (and you thought we made this up).