Seattle Muslim man sues employer for beard firing

By the Associated Press | August 4, 2011 | 3:43 PM EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle-area Muslim is suing his former employer, claiming he was fired as a security guard for refusing to shave his beard, which he wears for religious reasons.

Abdulkadir Omar filed his federal lawsuit July 15 in California. He plans to speak publicly about it Thursday along with representatives from the Seattle chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations.

Omar says that in November 2009, a supervisor at American Patriot Security told him he had to shave his beard. Omar responded that his beard is part of his religious beliefs and refused. He was suspended the following spring.

Omar filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found that Omar was wrongfully terminated.

A representative from American Patriot Security declined to answer a media call.