Update: Sikh in Conflict with Metropolitan Transit Authority Over Turban Patch

January 5, 2005

Source: New York Daily News


On January 5, 2005 the New York Daily News reported, "a Sikh subway motorman's turban tussle with the Transit Authority is coming to a head today. TA officials have told Kevin Harrington, 53, to pin an MTA patch to his turban or face reassignment to duty out of the public eye for what's deemed a dress code violation. With time running out, Harrington, a motorman for 20 years who has always worn the turban to work, said he's not sure what he's going to do. 'I'm between a rock and a hard place,' he said. 'I feel wearing the patch violates my religious freedom. The turban is a sacred space, so it's like asking a priest to wear a logo on his vestments.' On the other hand, he's concerned reassignment would mean working odd hours that would prevent him from getting home to mind his young children... But Harrington's lawyer Amardeep Singh said the TA is actually 'pandering to the phobia about Sikhs and Muslims that has existed since 9/11.' He said the TA is telling the public to feel safe if 'they put a logo on your head.'"