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(New York, New York) March 17, 2010 – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a decision last week that a Sikh job applicant suffered discrimination by Tri-County Lexus. The EEOC is the federal agency charged with enforcing the nation’s employment discrimination laws. The applicant, Gurpreet Singh Kherha, wanted to work as a sales representative at the Little Falls, New Jersey dealership, but was told to remove his religiously-mandated beard if he wanted the job. Gurpreet was interviewed by Tri-County Lexus in February 2008. After the interview, Gurpreet was told that he was “well-educated” and “well-qualified”, but would not be hired because of a policy prohibiting facial hair. Gurpreet contacted the Sikh Coalition after being denied the job. In cooperation with New Jersey attorney Ravinder Singh Bhalla the Coalition filed both a claim of discrimination with the EEOC in November 2008 and a lawsuit in New Jersey state court last month.
Since the EEOC made a decision in Gurpreet’s favor, the agency will now attempt to negotiate a settlement with Tri-County Lexus on his behalf. If the dealership refuses to settle, the EEOC may file a lawsuit in federal court for Gurpreet. The Coalition will continue to zealously advocate for Gurpreet’s rights, and will continue to pursue both state and federal employment discrimination claims against Tri-County Lexus. As always, the Coalition calls on all Sikhs to stand up for their rights and fearlessly maintain their articles of faith. Know Your Rights
- EEOC Guide on the Workplace Rights of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs
- EEOC Guide on Employer Responsibilities Towards Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Sikhs
Past Work on This Matter