U.S. DOJ Investigation Reveals MTA Policy Not Applied Consistently
(New York, New York) In a significant development in the struggle for equal treatment at New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation found that MTA employees regularly wear hats without an MTA logo. The results of the investigation seriously call into question the MTA’s insistence that Sikh and Muslim employees wear its logo on their religious headdress.
In only three days, the investigation found over 200 instances where MTA employees were wearing headwear without an MTA logo. Over 100 of these employees were wearing logo-less winter hats issued by the MTA itself.
The investigation was conducted by three DOJ investigators who observed MTA employees over three days in late January and February. The DOJ investigators found numerous instances of MTA employees wearing baseball team caps and designer logo headwear.
In late December, the MTA informed Sat Hari Singh, a client of the Sikh Coalition, that he must wear its logo on his turban. The Sikh Coalition’s Legal Director wrote to the MTA in early January stating the Sat Hari’s objection to wearing a logo on his turban in part because other MTA employees are not required to wearing any logo on their headdress or regularly flaunt those rules. The Sikh Coalition’s letter to the MTA included pictures taken by Sat Hari Singh of MTA employees wearing hats that did not include logos.
The Coalition calls on the MTA to begin the process of healing by ending a policy that clearly singles out Sikh and Muslim employees for special treatment. The Coalition also calls on the community to e-mail the MTA and call on it to end discrimination against Sikhs.
Pictures of MTA Employee not wearing the MTA Logo
“I thank the United States Justice Department and its attorneys and investigators for standing with us in this long fight. The resources they have been able to bring in our support will go a long way towards achieving justice for Sikhs at the MTA”
Sat Hari Singh