California Sikh Barred From Being Prison Guard Settles Suit

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA-- California is settling a lawsuit filed by a man who was barred from becoming a prison guard when he refused to shave the beard required by his Sikh religion.

Civil rights groups accused the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation of religious discrimination.

Under the deal made public Thursday, the state will not change its rules requiring most men to be free of facial hair so they can be fitted for gas masks.

But it is paying Trilochan Oberoi  $295,000 in damages and giving him a $61,000-a-year job as a manager in the corrections department.

The 63-year-old Oberoi once served in the Indian Navy. He has been working at a Walmart store while he fought a six-year battle to become a guard at Folsom State Prison east of Sacramento.