Advocacy and Legal Efforts Pay Off with Passage of New EEOC Guidelines

UNITED SIKHS is elated to convey the news about EEOC’s new guidelines on Religious Garb and Grooming in the workplace.  Now, businesses cannot refuse to interview a Sikh with a turban, nor can they limit where employees work because of their religious dress. That means that an employer cannot tell a Sikh that he/she will be given a position which does not involve dealing with patrons directly. Doing so would amount to a violation of EEOC’s guidelines.

We are humbled and proud at the same time to have directly and indirectly worked hard towards the implementation of these new guidelines. We vociferously raised this issue at every relevant forum, whether it was at meetings with Congressional offices, EEOC officials, and at the Department of Justice interagency meetings.  A little over six months ago, the EEOC made a determination in favor of our client, on her religious discrimination claims. It held that, “the evidence obtained in the investigation establishes reasonable cause to believe that the Respondent discriminated against the Charging Party because of her religion, Sikh, by failing to provide a religious accommodation, in violation of Title VII.” In this case, one of our client’s superiors had tormented her based on her new appearance. She had been newly initiated into the Sikh faith, and started wearing the turban (keski) to work. UNITED SIKHS is still actively pursuing this matter; we are now preparing to represent our client again at the upcoming EEOC conciliation proceedings.

We strongly believe that cases involving religious discrimination will be handled more justly with these guidelines in place. It is the persistent advocacy by us, other Sikh advocacy organizations, and the previously mentioned determination by the EEOC in favor of our client, which have vastly contributed towards the implementation of these new guidelines.

If you have personally been a victim of employment discrimination, please contact us at law-usa@unitedsikhs.org  or call 646-688-3525. We will continue to take up similar cases of discrimination and injustice and bring them to their just conclusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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