{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Junior associate with deal closing tomorrow. Partner said that I need to cover for part of the day (despite the fact that I said I’m taking off for Yom Kippur) cause said partner is golfing. Also had to cancel a vacation for said partner a month ago. Sign to leave?", "post_id": "61426198b693bb002c85cd68", "reply_count": 33, "vote_count": 10, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law" }

Junior associate with deal closing tomorrow. Partner said that I need to cover for part of the day (despite the fact that I said I’m taking off for Yom Kippur) cause said partner is golfing. Also had to cancel a vacation for said partner a month ago. Sign to leave?

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You don’t need to leave. Agreed with you need to push back firmly and probably avoid working with this partner in the future. Honestly report it up the chain if he keeps pushing, everyone has a boss and i doubt it’s firm policy that partners can twist associates arms into ignoring religious holidays. Did you give plenty of advance notice and put your days off on the calendar? I’d do this in the future if you didn’t. Is there no senior associate on the deal?

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Honest question — not intending to offend and I respect everyone’s religious beliefs. Are those with religious holidays that they expect people to respect also cool with being asked to work on other religions’ holidays? It is a pretty sweet deal to take all the other holidays and then also want your religion’s holidays, too, which is what I see. Not saying this is a big deal or that I take particular issue with it. Just wondering what the thought process is on that.

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I don’t care about Thanksgiving - at all, so I always offer to work then in exchange for being completely free for Christmas. Christmas is deeply religious for me and I’m happy to trade other holidays that I don’t value so that I can get that off.

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Partners at my firm have been disciplined for not respecting religious holidays. What you’re describing is nuts.

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Sign to say “no.” Don’t leave. Just say “I’m sorry, it’s Yom Kippur, I’m not available.” Maybe the partner forgot or doesn’t know you are taking it off for religious reasons? Why are so many lawyers so conflict averse? It’s ok to set boundaries. (Now, if you get the “you’ll be there and you’ll like it response, then it’s a sign to leave.)

likesmart

Yeah - then you either say I’m sorry i’m not available and deal with the consequences (which may in fact be a discrimination issue, but it’s not clear cut (I’m an employment lawyer)) Or, suck it up and do it and then look for a new job. I’d do number 1 but i don’t know your situation or whether you want to possibly burn bridges with this one partner. There are two many variables and I wouldn’t judge you harshly for the passive aggressive play here.

likehelpful

Absolutely...there is no way I would agree to any of that.

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The partner is going golfing and isn’t available on the day a deal is closing? That’s a bad enough sign right there.

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Absolutely not. Tell him no. You won’t be available because it’s a holiday.

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At my firm, i don't think the higher powers of indeed anyone would side with the partner in the situation you describe, whether that's a sign to leave or set your boundaries more aggressively is up to you.

likesmart

Isn’t there a Shabbos goy for things like this?

likefunny

Totally ridiculous and I agree with the advice above. Just say no, explain why if you want to (but don't feel obligated to), and then observe Yom Kippur. I'd start looking, because this sounds like a terrible workplace.

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Leaving isn’t necessary. Giving yourself the power to say no is. Don’t teach yourself self-effacing habits. That skill may be one of the hardest parts of the job.

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Where is the partner playing golf? Is he out of town/on vacation?

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Do you have a mentor to run interference for you? I had to attend a funeral last year that occurred during a closing and they were able to help raise the issue with the partner and practice group chair when the partner insisted I be available.

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Golf is not in the same realm as this kind religious holiday. I myself am secular and chose to work, but if I had prescheduled the time off I would stick with it. Your partner prioritizing the loss of a round of golf (~1500 max?) over respect for you is a sign. I would begin looking for your next move IMO

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Nothing will stand between me and having a happy Yom Kippur. jkjk. I don’t have any good advice, but wish you luck. Maybe look at other firms. You don’t seem to be at a good one.

This is unbelievable…

OP, can you reach out to a staffing manager or partner who is responsible for staffing? It’s unacceptable for them to interrupt holiday time that you are entitled too, especially a religious holiday. I would raise this up the chain.

What did you decide to do, OP?

As a note, whatever decision you decided to make was the right one for you because you made it thoughtfully, so don’t second guess it.

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