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Getz v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

filed: September 23, 1986.

GETZ, SUSAN, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, D.C. Civil No. 85-4013.

Author: Aldisert

Opinion OF THE COURT

ALDISERT, Chief Judge.

Susan Getz is an employee of the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She is an Orthodox Jew. The Commonwealth has permitted her to take religious holidays with pay under the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between the Commonwealth and state employees. Nevertheless, in order to accumulate more vacation leave, she asked that she be able to work overtime instead of working only the required seven and one-half hours a day. When the Commonwealth refused, she sought relief in the State Human Relations Commission and the EEOC. Neither granted relief. She then sought relief in the district court and Judge Weiner held that she had not established a prima facie case. She appeals and we now affirm.

Her action is based on Title VII of the civil Rights Act alleging that her employer has discriminated against her on the basis of religion. On review the findings of fact are tested by the clearly erroneous rule; selection and interpretation of appropriate legal precepts are plenary.

Appellant is a case worker, a civil service employee, and is covered by the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Social Services Union. As to her and other employees of comparable status, the agreement provides that she is entitled to the following days of leave with pay per year in the years 1984-1985 and 1985-1986:

1984-1985 1985-1986

1. Annual Leave 15.6 days 15.6 days

2. Personal Leave 4 days 5 days

3. Sick Leave 15 days 13 days

4. State Holidays 12 days 10 days

As part of her religious beliefs she is required to refrain from work on thirteen days during the year. her holidays do not occur on the same date each year and a varying number of the days fall on weekends or other state holidays. In 1985, five of her religious holidays occurred on a weekend or a state holiday; in 1986, seven will.

We deem it significant that during her entire employment she has been permitted to refrain from work on all her religious holidays and has been able to observe all her religious holidays by taking leave with pay. During 1986 she will be granted 20.6 days of leave with pay; this is in addition to the leave accumulated of five days not used in 1985.

In 1984 she requested that she be permitted to accumulate ten days of compensatory time by working an additional one-half ...


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