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Told had to work religious holiday or be fired

1 Answers. Asked on Mar 19th, 2017 on Labor and Employment - North Carolina
More details to this question:
I work part-time at a 24-hour drugstore and was told my first Christmas season there by a member of management that I had to work Christmas Day or be fired and it was a new district policy and all part-time employees were to work a shift regardless of religious practices. I learned during my second Christmas season there that this was a lie and the district manager knew nothing about it. Another employee was able to get the entire season off and keep her job because she lives on-campus while attending college and the dorms close during Christmas break; I attend the same college but live off-campus and wasn't afforded the same opportunity. Is this a form of discrimination based on the fact that I live off-campus and/or my religious beliefs?
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Answered on Mar 20th, 2017 at 5:17 AM

It could be, but there is likely nothing you can do either way.  North Carolina is an employment-at-will state where an employee can be fired for good reason, bad reason or no reason at all.  That means an employer can treat an employee poorly or unfairly with respect not only to termination, but any other action including scheduling.

There are circumstances in which an employee can file a discrimination claim agasint the employer if the discrimination is based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability or age 40 or older.  If you are being discriminated against because you live in off campus housing, there simply will not be any legal claim as that it not unlawful. Although it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of religion, scheduling matters are usually not matters you can file a reglious discrimination claim over unless they lead to your termination.

I am an experienced attorney focusing on employment law in North Carolina and Tennessee. This post/response is not meant to constitute legal advice.

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