Judge: TSA Violated Rastafarian Baggage Screener’s Rights

November 19, 2009

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the rights of a Rastafarian baggage screener at Boston’s Logan International Airport were violated when he was threatened with firing unless he cut his hair.

An administrative judge has issued an interim ruling in favor Josue Brissot (JOE’-sway BREE’-soh) and scheduled a February hearing on potential compensation.

The American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday that Brissot was assured when the Transportation Security Administration hired him in 2002 that his long dreadlocks were not a problem.

By 2005, the ACLU says, he was being told his hair was against agency policy and he would be fired unless he cut it. Brissot keeps his hair long for religious reasons.

The ACLU says Brissot’s treatment violated federal discrimination law.

TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said she could not comment on pending litigation.

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