2004 Summer/Fall Edition
Traffic Enforcement Agent Returns to Work in Landmark Case
years after resigning from the New York City Police Department
(NYPD), Sikh Traffic Enforcement Agent Jasjit Singh Jaggi is back
in uniform - with turban and beard - doing the job he enjoys,
directing traffic. In a landmark religious discrimination case,
the NYPD reinstated Mr. Jaggi following CCHR’s Final Decision
Three members of the Commission - Reverend Calvin O. Butts III,
Dr. Edison O. Jackson, and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein - issued the
Final Decision and Order in late July. It was the first such order
in the nation issued to a law enforcement agency compelling them
to grant a Sikh employee a religious accommodation. The NYPD did
not appeal the Commission's Order, allowing Mr. Jaggi to return
to work in August and fulfill his religious obligations by wearing
a turban while performing traffic enforcement duties.
to the Commission's Final Decision and Order, Law Enforcement Bureau
Deputy Commissioner Avery Mehlman and staff attorney Natalie Holder-Winfield
argued the case before Administrative Law Judge Donna R. Merris
of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, who found that
Mr. Jaggi had been discriminated against on religious grounds.
As a result of the Commission's groundbreaking work on the case
and its resolution, the NYPD settled a similar case which had taken
a different route. Today, the other NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent,
who had filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, has been fully reinstated.
on the job with turban and beard, Jasjit Singh Jaggi directs traffic
headed towards the Brooklyn Bridge.
Photo: Todd Maisel - Daily News
Commissioner Avery Mehlman addresses the media outside police headquarters
after the NYPD reinstated Traffic Enforcement Agent Jaggi, wearing
the white turban.