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Employer May Not Be Liable For Religious Discrimination if a Requested Accommodation Causes an Undue Burden

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Webb v. City of Philadelphia., 562 F.3d 256 (3d Cir. 2009) (0 other reports)

Author: Jessica Sussman

In Webb v. City of Philadelphia., +562 F.3d 256 (3d Cir. 2009) the 3rd Circuit held that the City of Philadelphia did not discriminate when it denied a police officer's request to wear a religious headscarf while on duty because this imposed an undue burden on the City.

To establish a case of religious discrimination based on an employer's refusal to grant a requested accommodation, an employee must show: (1) he held a sincere religious belief that conflicted with a job requirement; (2) he informed his employer of the conflict; and (3) he was disciplined for failing to comply with the conflicting job requirement. The burden then shifts to the employer to show either a good faith effort to reasonably accommodate the employee's belief, or that a requested accommodation would result in an undue burden on the employer. An accommodation is an undue burden under Title VII if it imposes more than a de minimis cost on the employer. Both economic and non-economic costs can impose an undue hardship on an employer.

In this case, the 3rd Circuit held that a religious belief does not need to be accommodated if it causes an undue burden on the employer.