Beards at the DC Fire Department
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in a case about whether DC Fire Departments are violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in requiring firefighters to shave their beards. DC argued that facial hair interferes with the mask’s seal and increases exposure to toxic air. Attorney Richard Love, on behalf of DC, argued that there is a compelling government interest to maximize public safety and that assigning a “bearded” firefighter to administrative duty does not go far enough to protect the public.