“When I was in suppression, I didn’t have support and I wasn’t willing to fight the issue," Smith said, explaining why he had never sought accommodation before. "But since I’ve been moved, I didn’t think, as a matter of fact, I consulted with the city attorney before I asked for an accommodation and he told me that it was an easy situation. There was an exception for religious reasons and I shouldn’t have a problem but lo and behold, here we are filing a lawsuit because they denied my accommodation."
For now, Smith is now required to be clean-shaven at work. His attorney, Luna Droubi, has filed a request for a temporary restraining order against the shaving requirement until his lawsuit is resolved, but Smith must prove he would face irreparable injury and that his constitutional rights would be violated in order for the restraining order to be granted.
“I feel strong in faith," Smith said of his convictions. "I feel liberated and I am able to without shame, express and to really show people part of who I really am and what I really believe in."
“I was hoping that it wouldn’t go to this level and I tried to do everything in my power…I tried my best to avoid legal action but…I had to do it,” he said of the lawsuit. “I have a family. I have responsibilities that I have to take care of. I can’t afford to be suspended without pay. I was pretty much under duress."
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