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Correctional officers accusing NY prisons of religious beard discrimination

A federal judge has barred New York’s prison agency from taking any “adverse action” against correctional officers seeking a religious beard accommodation.

Posted: Dec 2, 2019 2:20 PM
Updated: Dec 2, 2019 2:20 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A federal judge has barred New York’s prison agency from taking any “adverse action” against correctional officers seeking a religious beard accommodation.

The order signed last week is tied to a federal lawsuit filed in August and comes after additional correctional officers accused the prison department of discrimination in its handling of religious beards. Their concerns were outlined in court filings.

The lawsuit argues the state prison agency discriminated against two Muslim correctional officers who were suspended over their beards.

Attorney Joshua Moskovitz says the judge’s order prevents the agency from retaliating or harassing correctional officers who have a religious accommodation for beards or have applied for one with the agency.

The state’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision declined to comment on the judge’s order.

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