Friday, September 09, 2016

Muslim Police Officer Sues For Religious Accommodation

A Muslim police officer in the Town of West New York, NJ, filed a religious discrimination lawsuit this week in New Jersey federal district court alleging that he was not provided a religious accommodation to the police department's Appearance Policy.  The complaint (full text) in Awadallah v. Town of West New York, (D NJ, filed 9/7/2016), alleges that plaintiff wears a light beard as part of his Muslim religious beliefs. It contends that defendants initially denied the possibility of an accommodation and then delayed action on his request.  He was not permitted to work overtime while he was wearing his beard, and was required to submit proof of his religious beliefs. Ultimately his accommodation request was denied. Plaintiff alleges this violates Title VII and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. [Thanks to Jeff Pasek for the lead.]