NYPD Reaches Settlement in Religious Facial Hair Lawsuit



A settlement has reportedly been reached in the class-action lawsuit brought forth  by a Muslim police officer who alleged that the NYPD’s former no-beard policy was unconstitutional, NBC reports.

The agreement was detailed in court papers that were filed in Manhattan federal court at the beginning of Jan. 2 by attorneys representing Officer Masood Syed.

The papers come just after a year after the NYPD revised its regulations to allow members of the force to grow facial hair if for religious reasons.

NYPD Officers Masood Syed is a practicing Muslim. The policy changes are a result of a class-action complaint that Syed filed on June 22, 2016. The complaint came one day after being suspended from the force without pay or benefits for refusing to trim him beard.

After a judicial hearing, the NYPD reinstated Syed and promised to internally review its facial-hair policy within 120 days.

The revised rules regarding the policy were issued late last month. They state that uniformed members are able to grow facial hair no long than a half inch for religious reasons, and that members must obtain written approval from the deputy commissioner of Equal Employment Opportunity.

See Also

“We are pleased with the resolution of this case,” a city Law Department spokesman said in a statement. “The agreed upon reforms balance the operational needs of the police department with the religious beliefs and needs of officers.”

“I’m hopeful that this settlement will allow current and future NYPD officers to feel free to express their religious beliefs openly and without fear of retaliation,” Syed said.


Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter


Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!