Panel Rules Rastafarian Bag Screener Can Keep His Dreads

This article is more than 12 years old.

A Rastafarian baggage screener at Logan Airport can keep his dreadlocks.

In a ruling Monday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said the religious rights of Josue Brissot were violated when his supervisors pressured him to cut off his locks, which are important in Rastafarian belief.

Brissot was represented in the case by the Boston office of the American Civil Liberties Union.

ACLU spokesman Christopher Ott said Brissot's employer, the Transportation Security Administration, told him he could keep his dreadlocks when was first hired in 2002.

Later, Brissot alleged, he was passed over for promotions, because, his supervisors said, his appearance violated the agency's dress code. Then, in 2005, his supervisors said he was required to cut his hair.

"We're very pleased," Ott said. "The irony is that the TSA seemed to be more concerned about appearance than security. He is a highly regarded employee."

A spokesperson for the TSA. declined to comment, saying the litigation is ongoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This program aired on November 17, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.



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