The federal government is accusing a North Texas company of religious discrimination. This occurred after the company allegedly refused to hire a man based on his appearance.
The government wants a judge to order the company to change its hiring practices.
It's also seeking back pay, pain and suffering, and punitive damages for Sukhdev Singh-Brar. He is a certified security officer in the Dallas area.
But before he was hired at his current job, he applied to the Champion National Security Firm in Richardson back in October 2005.
"When I finished applying, she called me for an interview, and told me, 'I'm going to hire you,' but you have to shave and take off your turban,'" he said.
Singh-Brar says he told the representative what she was saying was against federal law and his religion.
"I cannot cut my hair. I cannot take off my turban," he said. "She told me, 'This is our company policy and we cannot change our company policy.'"
In the Sikh faith, maintaining a beard is an act of commitment and acceptance of God's will. The turban signifies sovereignty.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company last week.
"Essentially, they're asking, demanding someone give up their deeply held religious beliefs for a job. In that regard, I think it's very egregious," said Bill Backhaus, EEOC.
Before the EEOC filed the lawsuit against Champion National Security, it tried to resolve the case. But the government says the company wouldn't budge.
A company attorney says they haven't seen the lawsuit yet. But he says they don't discriminate, and have a good track record of hiring a diverse workforce.
Since the September 11 terror attacks, the government says there have been more than one thousand cases involving people originally from the Mid-East or Southeast Asia.
DNSI direct link 0 comments Email post: