Skip to comments.Muslim corrections officer forced out over beard, suit claims
Posted on 07/16/2008 2:54:45 PM PDT by forkinsocket
A former corrections officer has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the Kane County Sheriff's Department, claiming he was forced to resign after refusing to shave his traditional Muslim beard.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court, seeks unspecified damages and a letter of apology to Abal Zaidi, who says he was forced out of the department because of his faith.
"I always had a beard as long as I can remember," Zaidi, 31, said in a brief telephone interview Tuesday. "They were just giving me a hard time."
According to the lawsuit, Zaidi, of Streamwood, was a Kane County corrections officer from July to December 2006. On Dec. 15 of that year, Sheriff Pat Perez posted an employee bulletin that "mandated all officers to cleanly shave their faces," the lawsuit claims.
When Zaidi sought exception because of his faith, a superior told him to produce documentation confirming he wore a beard for religious purposes, the lawsuit says. Two days later, he was asked to resign or face being fired for poor performance, even though the "most recent reports before (Zaidi's) termination were flawless," according to the lawsuit.
In addition, the department "created a hostile work environment by subjecting (Zaidi) to a higher level of difficulty and more rigorous guidelines during training than other non-Muslim, non-Middle-Eastern trainees," the lawsuit says. Also, "No other non-Muslim, non-Middle-Eastern employees who performed as well or worse than (Zaidi) were asked ... to resign."
(Excerpt) Read more at dailyherald.com ...
"No other non-Muslim, non-Middle-Eastern employees who did not have beards were asked ... to resign."
If the job requirement said clean-shaven, nuff said. no need to give the inmate something to grab onto
altho being as they wear all kinds of head gear these days anyway, what a mess.
When I worked for Contiental Bakery Company selling TWINKIES they made me shave my beard. Why doesn’t the officer complain about wearing a uniform, and keep his TURBAN, and ROBE. He can always drive a taxi...
Yikes, making a prisoner subject to a muslim during his probation should be cruel and unusual punishment.
Exactly. That and Scott Air Packs, which are used for prison fires. Of course the article doesn't mention that information.