A federal judge has awarded back pay and other costs to a Muslim man who said he was fired from his security-guard job two years ago for refusing to shave his close-cropped beard.

Abdulkadir Omar, 23, who worked for American Patriot Security in 2009 and 2010, was awarded over $66,000 in back wages, attorney fees and court costs. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik ordered a default judgment against American Patriot on Sept. 27 after the company declined to mount a defense.

Across the country and here in Washington, a number of lawsuits have been brought against employers by workers with religious-discrimination claims — from those who want to pray during their work shifts to men and women wearing head coverings.

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