NEW YORK (TIP): A Sikh man in the United States will receive $50,000 as compensation in an out-of-court settlement of a religious discrimination lawsuit against a car dealership in New Jersey for denying him a job for maintaining a beard. Gurpreet Kherha had filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a lawsuit in 2009 against Tri- County Lexus, where he had applied for a position as a sales associate and was qualified for the job.
EEOC said after the car dealership requested Kherha to shave his beard, he refused to comply due to his religious beliefs. The dealership denied him the job, the agency charged. According to the lawsuit, Tri-County Lexus had a “no-beard” policy for sales and administrative personnel and it strictly enforced its dress code policy without granting reasonable religious accommodations.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kherha by rights group Sikh Coalition and the EEOC. Under the settlement, the car dealership would pay $50,000 to Kherha and the firm has been urged not to discriminate on the basis of religion in future.