CALIFORNIA - Failure to Hire - Pastor Letter
To whom it may concern:
I am writing this letter on behalf of [Name], who is a member of the [name of church] Seventh-day Adventist Church. [Name] is applying for a job with your company, and is requesting accommodation for his religious observance of the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Seventh-day Adventists observe the Sabbath according to the Fourth Commandment in the Bible, and refrain from work during that day. It is a day of rest and worship.
We are confident that your company will value as an employee someone of integrity, who is faithful to their religious obligations. We are equally confident that you are both willing and able to comply with Federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e et. seq., and California Government Code §12940(I) and §12926; that requires employers to make reasonable accommodation for the religious observances of its employees unless that would result in an undue hardship. California law describes undue hardship in terms of a "significant difficulty or expense." Government Code §12916(+). Moreover, refusal to hire someone because of their request for religious accommodation may constitute overt religious discrimination itself, and subject the employer to legal liability.
As [name’s] pastor, I urge you to take advantage of the opportunity to employ [him or her], and not reject [him or her] due to the general requirement that job applicants have “open availability” in terms of scheduling. In most companies, there are several employees who rotate in doing the same work, and the schedules can be adjusted to provide Sabbath accommodation without imposing an undue burden on either the employer or the other employees. This is especially true since Adventists are willing to work on Sundays and holidays that others do not wish to work.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Please don’t hesitate to call on me if I can be of further assistance. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is very solicitous of the welfare of its members, and is particularly concerned about issues of religious discrimination in employment. We will certainly wish to let our members know that your business treats its employees fairly, and does not discriminate.
cc: Alan J. Reinach, Esq., Executive Director
Church State Council