Monday, March 25, 2019

Firefighter Not Entitled To Religious Exemption From Grooming Policy

In Smith v. City of Atlantic City, (D NJ, March 22, 2019), a New Jersey federal district court upheld the refusal by the Atlantic City Fire Department to grant a long-time employee a religious exemption from the Department's grooming policy.  Plaintiff is an African American male and a Christian who has recently decided to grow a 3-inch beard as an expression of his religious faith. Rejecting plaintiff's application for a temporary restraining order, the court concluded that he was unlikely to succeed on the merits of his free exercise, equal protection or Title VII claim.