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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-09-04-2009-00.htm

Press Release: 9th Apr 2009, Thursday         26th Chet (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi )

Press Release

EEOC and UNITED SIKHS Host Know Your Rights Training for North Carolina Sikh Community

- "I'm glad to have had this opportunity to reach out and learn about the Sikh community, and I'm looking forward to working with UNITED SIKHS on Sikh discrimination issues in the workplace."
- Reuben Daniels, District Director, EEOC for North Carolina, South Carolina & Virginia

- "Employment discrimination is a growing problem in the Sikh community and UNITED SIKHS is working with the EEOC to diligently address this problem. We will continue to educate the Sikh Community and regional EEOC offices on employment discrimination throughout the nation. We encourage the Sikh community to report any civil rights discrimination to UNITED SIKHS."
- Harpreet Singh, Legal Director, UNITED SIKHS

-"We look forward to working diligently with the EEOC to educate its staff about Sikh issues so they may better handle cases, as well as to continue educate the Sikh community about their employment rights." - Pawanjit Singh, UNITED SIKHS Regional Director for North Carolina & South Carolina, USA

- "Gurdwaras all around USA should collaborate with EEOC and UNITED SIKHS to educate community on their workplace rights." - Dr. Surenderpal Singh, President of Gurdwara Sahib of Charlotte


Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) visited Gurdwara Sahib of Charlotte, a Sikh place of worship, on Sunday, March 29th, as part of an ongoing collaborative effort with UNITED SIKHS to educate the Sikh community about employment discrimination. UNITED SIKHS will also be addressing the EEOC Charlotte office to educate investigators, attorneys, and administrative judges on the Sikh faith, within the next few weeks. The presentation will include post 9-11 issues and concerns the Sikh community has regarding hate and bias crimes, employment discrimination, and specifically religious discrimination based on the Kirpan (a short steel or iron blade, resembling a scimitar, that is carried as an article of faith) and the Dastaar, the Sikh turban.

Mr. Reuben Daniels, District Director, EEOC for North Carolina, South Carolina & Virginia addressed the Sikh congregation and informed them of the various types of discrimination that can occur, such as discrimination in hiring, dismissal, pay raises, and promotions. The presentation encouraged the Sikh community to report cases of employment discrimination, as well as informing the congregation of their rights. Mr. Daniels was also supported by Mr. Billy Sanders, Program Manager at EEOC Charlotte office.

Mr. Daniels presented a brief overview of the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, outlining the various types of employment discrimination and what measures one can take against these kinds of discrimination. Attendees were specifically informed on how to report incidents to the EEOC, as the EEOC investigates and mediates cases of discrimination. Mr. Daniels highlighted religious discrimination focusing on the Sikh identity, urging the congregation to come forth and report any incidents.

Mr. Reuben Daniels, District Director of EEOC with UNITED SIKHS Representatives

In addition to the presentation, both Mr. Daniels and Mr. Sanders set up a table at the Langar Hall of the Gurdwara and answered questions and addressed concerns of individual community members regarding workplace and employment discrimination. The EEOC distributed literature in both English and Punjabi that discussed issues such as what qualifies as workplace discrimination, what to do if discrimination occurs, and how to file a claim.

EEOC Delegation talking to the Community

The EEOC visit to Gurdwara Sahib of Charlotte is a continuing joint effort with UNITED SIKHS to educate the Sikh community about workplace discrimination. Commenting on the collaboration, Mr. Daniels stated, "I'm glad to have had this opportunity to reach out and learn about the Sikh community, and I'm looking forward to working with UNITED SIKHS on Sikh discrimination issues in the workplace.” Harpreet Singh, Legal Director, UNITED SIKHS commented, “Employment discrimination is a growing problem in the Sikh community and UNITED SIKHS is working with the EEOC to diligently address this problem. We will continue to educate the Sikh Community and regional EEOC offices on employment discrimination throughout the nation. We encourage the Sikh community to report any civil rights discrimination to UNITED SIKHS.” Dr. Surenderpal Singh, President of Gurdwara Sahib of Charlotte stated, “Gurdwaras all around USA should collaborate with EEOC and UNITED SIKHS to educate community on their workplace rights.”

Left: Mr. Reuben Daniels making a presentation to the community. Right: Mr Billy Sanders with members of Gurdwara management including Dr Surenderpal Singh

"UNITED SIKHS would like to thank Mr. Reuben Daniels and Mr. Billy Sanders for discussing the Sikh community's concerns," remarked Pawanjit Singh, UNITED SIKHS-USA Regional Director for North Carolina & South Carolina. "We look forward to working diligently with the EEOC to educate its staff about Sikh issues so they may better handle cases, as well as to continue educate the Sikh community about their employment rights."

UNITED SIKHS would also like to extend special thanks to Gurdwara Sahib of Charlotte, President Dr.Surenderpal Singh and Secretary Inderjit Singh, for their cooperation in organizing this event.
You may read a previous press release on UNITED SIKHS' advocacy against employment discrimination at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-23-01-2009-00.htm

Issued By:

Jaspreet Singh
Staff Attorney
UNITED SIKHS
law@unitedsikhs.org
1-(646) 315-3909


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