Ariz. — Corrections Officer Ikhbinder Singh Bassin worked for the Arizona Department of Corrections for over 10 years before an audit claimed that he was not complying with regulations for beards and bracelts.
Originally, Bassin had applied for the job due to incentives like housing, financial assistance and religious accomodation, such as his long beard and kara, according to the Sikhnn.
According to the department's policy, officers cannot grow beards longer than half an inch or wear bracelets that are not medically necessary. Bassin was given 10 days to comply or else would lose his job.
Worried he would lose his retirement plan and be forced to move his family, Bassin contacted the Sikh Coalition, a New York-based advocacy group. The group made a formal request to the department to grant Bassin a waiver for Sikh articles of faith.
The department intially refused, but once the coalition "informed them of all the case law and threatened to sue," the department granted an accomodation for Bassin on January 31, according to the Sikhnn.