US trucking firm settles discrimination suit with Sikh drivers
Four Sikh truck drivers in the US have settled a discrimination case against an American trucking giant, which will pay $260,000 in damages for denying them employment, after they refused to cut their hair and remove their turbans for the company’s drug tests.
The Sikh truck drivers reached a settlement agreement with JB Hunt trucking company, following a seven-year federal investigation, in which the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found evidence that the company had discriminated against them due to their religious articles of faith, said a release issued by Sikh Coalition, a civil rights organisation.
JB Hunt has agreed to pay $260,000 in damages as well as amend company policies and practices to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.
The company will be obligated to train its hiring personnel on anti-discrimination laws and submit reports to the EEOC for the next two years about its workplace anti-discrimination efforts.
“I am relieved by this resolution because no one should have to face humiliation because of their religious beliefs,” said lead complainant Jagtar Singh Anandpuri.
“I have been driving a truck for years, and I know there is nothing about my faith that interferes with my ability to do my job,” he said.
Three complainants were denied accommodations after they informed the company that they could not cut their religiously mandated hair for drug testing. The fourth client was denied an accommodation to the company’s demand that he remove his turban while providing a urine sample.