First, a recap of a prima facie case of workplace religious discrimination:
(1) she holds a sincere religious belief that conflicts with a job requirement;BUT the employer can then show that either:
(2) she informed her employer of the conflict; and
(3) she was disciplined for failing to comply with the conflicting requirement.
 it made a good-faith effort to reasonably accommodate the religious belief, orThe employer argued that granting an exception for the khimars would impose an undue hardship by compromising the prison's security and safety. Specifically, including that:
 such an accommodation would work an undue hardship upon the employer and its business.
(1) khimars, like hats, could be used to smuggle contraband into and around the Hill Facility,The Court agreed, affirmed summary judgment for the employer.
(2) that khimars can be used to conceal the identity of the wearer, which creates problems of misidentification, and
(3) that khimars could be used against a prison employee in an attack.
This case reaffirms the principle that workplace safety and security can trump religious accommodations. An important part of the Court's analysis, however, focused on prison administration and noted that "prison is not a summer camp." And chances are, your workplace is not a prison. So employers should by no means consider this a green light to ban head scarves.
Citation: E.E.O.C. v. Geo Group, Inc., 2010 WL 2991380 (3d Cir. Aug. 2, 2010).
Case of the Week is a weekly feature. On Fridays I will cover a particularly important, fun , or interesting employment law case. This is entry #1. All Case of the Weeks are tagged COTW.
Posted by Philip Miles, an employment lawyer with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania.