Las Vegas Sun

April 22, 2019

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Metro approves $350,000 settlement in cap, beard case

Detective allowed to wear beard, baseball cap in current job

Steve Riback

Steve Marcus

Metro Police Detective Steve Riback, at Chabad of Southern Nevada in April 2007, is receiving a settlement from the department and permission to allow a short beard and head covering in accordance with his faith as an Orthodox Jew.

The Metro Fiscal Affairs Committee on Monday approved a $350,000 settlement payment to Detective Steve Riback, an Orthodox Jew who sued the department in 2007 after he was prohibited from wearing a beard and head covering, as mandated by his religion.

Now that the settlement has been approved, Metro officials are willing to discuss some of the more nuanced terms of the settlement. Here are some details the Sun got from Metro attorney Liesl Freedman:

For starters, Riback will be allowed to wear a neatly trimmed beard no more than a quarter-inch long. He will also be allowed to wear a baseball cap — but not a trucker hat — most likely with the LVMPD logo or no logo at all.

Riback can keep his beard and hat as long as he remains in his desk job position with the department's quality assurance office. The detective has agreed not to seek a transfer or promotion for the next two years.

Should he transfer to a different section where beards and hats are not permitted, he will have file a new request for religious accommodation.

The settlement will have implication for all Metro officers. The department is now no longer allowing officers to have a beard in uniform - not even in the case of medical conditions. Officers who do have a medical condition that prevents them from shaving will be given non-uniform assignments until their condition is remedied.

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