Showdown is today in TA's turban tussle

A Sikh subway motorman's turban tussle with the Transit Authority is coming to a head today.

TA officials have told Kevin Harrington, 53, to pin an MTA patch to his turban or face reassignment to duty out of the public eye for what's deemed a dress code violation.

With time running out, Harrington, a motorman for 20 years who has always worn the turban to work, said he's not sure what he's going to do."

"I'm between a rock and a hard place," he said. "I feel wearing the patch violates my religious freedom. The turban is a sacred space, so it's like asking a priest to wear a logo on his vestments."

On the other hand, he's concerned reassignment would mean working odd hours that would prevent him from getting home to mind his young children.

The TA has had several flaps with workers over religious garb in recent years, and at first insisted that agency-issued caps be worn. But last year, three female Muslim bus drivers who wear head scarfs and refused to don the caps filed a lawsuit against the TA.

The patch idea is an accommodation offered after the issue went to a diversity committee.

But Harrington's lawyer Amardeep Singh said the TA is actually "pandering to the phobia about Sikhs and Muslims that has existed since 9/11."

He said the TA is telling the public to feel safe if "they put a logo on your head."

Singh didn't say what he and Harrington plan to do today.

A TA spokesman declined to comment.