How do I tell my employer that I cannot work on Sabbath?

Questions & Answers April 6, 2018

Q: My name is Milton and I’m 16. I’m a new Adventist but am still working on Sabbath. I want to ask my employer to have that day off, but if I do my family may find out I’m an Adventist and they will kick me out of the house. What should I do? — Milton, from the United States

A: Milton, thank you for writing. You are certainly in a very difficult position, and I’m sure it must be very hard at times. 

Although your situation is challenging, I want to affirm you in your desire to not work on the Sabbath, and I encourage you to find a way to not work on God’s holy day. While I don’t know the details of your work situation, perhaps your employer would allow you to work on another day in place of the Sabbath, or maybe you could make up the time by working in the evenings. 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a special department called Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) that can help in these kinds of situations, such as providing a letter to your employer, explaining that you are a Seventh-day Adventist, and the reasons why you conscientiously believe you cannot work on God’s holy day. I encourage you to fill out a “Sabbath Accommodation Form” at this link and submit it to PARL. 

I also want to encourage you to confide in your pastor, or a trusted elder, Sabbath school teacher, or other local church leader, regarding your situation. They can be a wonderful source of guidance and support.

There have been many people, including teens, who have been in similar circumstances to yours, and they were so glad that they followed their convictions. Some were kicked out of the house when they chose to become Seventh-day Adventists and keep the Sabbath, but they have no regrets. Some people suffer much more than this. God will give you courage, Milton. Put God first and He will never let you down. God will guard, guide, and bless you, too.