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I’m a practicing Christian. Other religions should have the same religious freedom that I do.

In World
February 25, 2024

I am a practicing Christian, and I love that my public school job guarantees that I don’t have to work Sundays and that I have major holidays off. I appreciate that I can practice my religion freely without it impacting my bank account, now or in the future.

My colleagues who practice other religions aren’t so lucky. They often have to take unpaid leave to celebrate their religious holidays. And when they take over five days of unpaid leave, they lose service credit.

For a state employee who puts in 30 years, that equates to a year of service credit. Meaning, the employee either has to work an extra year to retire with full benefits, or they have to accept a hit to their retirement check.

HB 47: Kentucky bill would allow lawsuits over violations of religious freedom

This is unfair, and it is contrary to our values as Kentuckians. But the House of Representatives has put forth a simple solution.

House Bill 138 would allow every state employee to take up to 10 days unpaid leave for religious purposes and make those days up to recover lost service credit. This doesn’t pay state employees for days they didn’t work; what it does is provide some flexibility.

It’s a great bill, and it’s an important bill. Let’s urge the Kentucky Legislature to pass HB 138 this 2024 General Assembly session.

Katherine Albrecht-Snow

Katherine Albrecht-Snow

Katherine Albrecht-Snow taught English and ESL in Kentucky for nearly 10 years, and she is the JCTA representative to the KEA Government Relations Committee. It’s important to her to advocate for her colleagues and students.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: HB 138 upholds religious freedom and aligns with Kentucky values

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