The Justice Department has settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of state prison guards who had sought the right to wear certain types of religious clothing on the job.
The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan announced Friday that the state’s Department of Correctional Services had agreed to keep new regulations in place that allow guards to request an exemption to regular uniform requirements if they want to wear head coverings like kufis or yarmulkes at work.
Previous to the filing of the lawsuit, in March of 2007, the prison system’s uniformed guards had been barred from wearing visible symbols of their faith.
That policy was attacked in court by both the Justice Department and the New York Civil Liberties Union, which sued on behalf of a correction officer from Brooklyn who had been ordered to stop wearing a kufi to a prison system halfway house. (MORE)