Saturday, February 01, 2014

Hasidic cop fired because of religiously-significant beard reinstated, assigned to Bronx 

The Hasidic cop fired because he said his religious beliefs prohibited him from trimming his facial hair was reinstated and has been assigned to the Bronx, his lawyer said Thursday.

Officer Fishel Litzman was fired in June 2012, a month shy of graduating from the Police Academy, because he refused to adhere to department standards limiting beards to no more than 1 millimeter in length.

Litzman, 39, a married father of five, went to work as a paramedic to support his family and filed a federal suit to get his job back.

In November, Judge Harold Baer ruled that Litzman was the victim of religious discrimination.

In December, he ordered Litzman reinstated and billed the city $137,000 in lawyer fees.

Litzman’s first day on patrol in the 46th Precinct was last week, his lawyer Nathan Lewin said.

Lewin said the city shortly after the ruling filed its notice to appeal the ruling. He said he is hoping the new administration will drop the appeal.

“I’m very pleased Fishel is back on the police force,’ Lewin said. “He’s going to be a tremendous police officer.

“I have no doubt about that.”

A city Law Department spokesman said, “We are still reviewing our options.”


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