Muslim Man Awarded $66,000 For Dismissal Over Beard Conflict

97.3 KIRO FM/Brandi Kruse

The Muslim security guard allegedly fired for refusing to shave his beard was awarded $66,000 in back pay, attorney fees and court costs by a federal judge.

Abdulkadir Omar, 23, worked for American Patriot Security in 2009 and 2010. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik ordered a default judgment against the company after it declined to mount a defense, reported The Seattle Times.
"There's a religious conflict in some workplaces where employers make broad policies they then seek to implement, even if they prevent employees from being able to practice their religion," Omar's attorney Hardeep Rekhi, told The Seattle Times.

There are a variety of practices that at first glance might seem discriminatory but in fact are legal, AOL Jobs has reported. Very few states or municipalities have prohibitions against appearance discrimination.

However, appearance discrimination based on race, shade of skin color, gender, national origin, disability, religion or pregnancy are among protected categories, notes employment attorney Donna Ballman in AOL Jobs.

Lawsuits have been brought against employers by workers with religious-discrimination claims involving prayer during workshifts and head coverings.

American Patriot officials did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.

Omar, who lives in SeaTac, Washington, said no one told him when he took the minimum-wage job in 2009 that he would have to shave his beard, which he keeps closely trimmed. He stated in court papers that he'd worked for the company for six months when he was asked by the regional manager to shave the beard in compliance with company grooming policy.

At the time, Omar said he explained that his strongly held religious beliefs required him as a Muslim man to wear a beard. The company suspended Omar without pay, according to court documents, when he contacted an Islamic advocacy group, which wrote to his employer explaining the religious rules.
Laurie Petersen

Laurie Petersen

Editor-in-Chief, AOL Jobs

Laurie Petersen edits AOL Jobs and is a long-time veteran of the working world. Follow her @lauriepete

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member9219

So the beard is religeous - what's with the hair?

October 11 2013 at 6:06 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
mark

Muslims , what can you do ? either let them have their way or they will blow you up

October 11 2013 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mark's comment
The Greatest Of All

how clever and stupid of you

October 11 2013 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guy

Well mark let's all pray this comment doesn't get blown up because of your ignorance and blamed on me, that would be too much like the American Way

October 15 2013 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mennis0852

If he was wearing a beard when they hired him, the employer has no right to later say that he has to remove it. If he was not wearing a beard when hired, then they can tell him to shave when he grows one. But either ways the company policy should be followed when hiring, and the hired given a printed copy of what the policy is.

October 11 2013 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aswengin

Meanwhile back at the Oasis the Muslims were eating their dates.

October 11 2013 at 2:45 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Ron

Watch out! He might bomb his previous office!

October 11 2013 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ron's comment
Guy

That's a lil crazy Ron when it seems the only people blow ing up Americans at old jobs or movie theaters are non Muslim Americans

October 15 2013 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard

I've been to Saudi Arabia and have seen plenty of Arabs with clean shaven mugs ... sounds like a made up argument to me.

October 11 2013 at 1:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard's comment
Guy

Bible say don't eat pork, How many Christians in the United States do you think eat pork

October 15 2013 at 1:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rsticks18

don't play for the yankees either--but you can play for the red sox

October 11 2013 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shawn

don't hire muslims...problem solved

October 11 2013 at 12:23 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Shawn's comment
Guy

That a racist statement

October 15 2013 at 1:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kathy

So everybody can claim their religion for privileges, etc. except of course Christianity, they are forever told that the separation of church and state affects everything they want!

October 11 2013 at 12:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kathy's comment
Guy

Hey Kathy growing the Beard in Islam is not a privilege it is a command

October 15 2013 at 1:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SeaboardStation

Bet they don't hire anymore muslims.

October 11 2013 at 12:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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