Muslim officers sue over beard suspensions, are reinstated

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two Muslim correctional officers in New York are being reinstated to their positions after being suspended for refusing to shave their beards.

The move comes one day after correctional officers Brian Sughrim and David Feliciano filed a federal lawsuit Monday against New York’s prison agency.

The suit argues the agency discriminated against the two men and ordered them to shave beards they keep for religious reasons.

It says other correctional officers are allowed to keep their facial hair for secular reasons.

The correctional officers’ attorney Joshua Moskovitz says the lawsuit is the “sole reason that they’re getting their jobs back.” He says the litigation will continue forward.

A prison agency spokesman issued a statement saying the employees will receive full back pay.


Ryan Tarinelli is a corps member for Report for America, a nonprofit organization that supports local news coverage in a partnership with The Associated Press for New York. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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