Can A Dress Code Bar Ethnic And Religious Attire Based On Customer Preferences In The US? | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Can A Dress Code Bar Ethnic And Religious Attire Based On Customer Preferences In The US?


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Can a dress code bar ethnic attire based on customer preferences?

from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission/US

(May 2, 2011)

Tony, one of your department managers, is in your office reviewing finalists for an available cashier position. He wants to hire Narinder, a South Asian man, but is afraid customers will be put off by Narinder’s Sikh turban. While your company’s dress code has never been enforced, Tony wants to know if he can update it to prohibit ethnic attire and start enforcing it before hiring Narinder. Would that be a problem?

Yes. It would be unlawful to deny Narinder the job due to notions of customer preferences about ethnic attire. That would be the same as refusing to hire Narinder because he is a Sikh. A dress code must not treat some employees less favorably because of their national origin. For example, enforcing a dress code that prohibits certain kinds of ethnic dress, such as traditional African or Indian attire, but otherwise permits casual dress would treat some employees less favorably because of their national origin. An employer may require all workers to follow a uniform dress code even if the dress code conflicts with some workers' ethnic beliefs or practices. However, if the dress code conflicts with religious practices, the employer must modify the dress code unless doing so would result in undue hardship.

Source: EEOC Guidance: Questions and Answers for Small Employers about National Origin Discrimination, reported in the CCH Employment Practices Guide, New Developments ¶5070.
Well i will talk only about us Sikhis now. I think nobody should be bothered about if a Sikhi wears his Turban as long he also wears his working uniform properly. Best example are Sikhis working at London airports and simpliest example are Sikhis working at restaurant chain companies. i personally since tonight ( i say tonight becausehere now its 3:40) am very scared about one enother ,,Turban problem " thing. Being busy in last days with shifting i have not followed the world news properly... just now i woke up and thought oklets read whats new in the world... via my mobile of course ,the photos of the terrorist guys which may replace Bin Laden al- Libi and al- Z. Are tying their head cover scary very simmilar if not same way as Sikhi men do . Many Sikhs have already become victims because of wearing Turbans . We Sikhis because of our own safety must make it different way visible for whole world that we are Sikhs ,,NOT" to be mistaken as terrorists. We have to pin maybe our Khanda or Ek ong kaar sign on our Turbans and we have to make publicity trough whole world about , otherwise again and again we will
end up as victims of non educated criminals. Also because of not having the adequate knowledge it happens that normal people scare us and hate us for no reason just brcause not knowing theSikh Turban - and islamic head covers difference. We have to do something to get no more mistaken and killed by Non Knowledge. Sat Sri Akal. God bless all Sikhs .
sat Sri Akal
To come with a simmilar problem ...
i am working in the Hotel Restaurant business Managment for many years now and during training the young people in the kitchen i have been recently asked from the cooks to remove my kara .
I have simply told them that i am washing always my hands , wrists and the kara around before entering their area and i can't remove it i would have to cut my handwrist to remove it because i am wearing now the same kara since i am 9 Y old and now i am 42. My hand has growen, so it is impossible to remove it even with soap it does not work .Then i have explained them that a kara isn't just a bangle it has much , much greater back ground . Finally they understood and gave up to tell anything any more about. :grinningkaur:


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
dushanka ji

The starter article covers the law in the US only. It will be different in every country. The thing to do is see what department in the federal government in India is concerned with equal employment rights. Contact them.


ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Dec 21, 2010
spnadmin ji I hope you are not serious about the following in your post above,

The thing to do is see what department in the federal government in India is concerned with equal employment rights.

  • Oh the pure of heart who never bribed any one in India to get anything done!

Sat Sri Akal.
hahah , i agree ... Thats why i have left India since February .
To be in India as long one has the financial possibility not to work there
by having own business or to work for anybody else its cool, anything else does not work without corruption .
i am not a Saint but also not supporter of corruption that's why i have left...

animatedkhanda1 Sat Sri Akal lolmundahuglolmundahug


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Ambarsaria ji

I was just being rational and dignified. Sorry if my answer instead seemed ridiculous and laughable. Far be it from me to make accusations like that. The fact is that the article covers US law only.

dushanka ji

I don't know where you are now. You show India on your profile. So the same advice applies. Find out what laws exist in the country where you are.


Jan 29, 2011
Vancouver, Canada
I have seen people with the weirdest hairstyles and multi face-piercings working as receptionist. Thought they are considered 'weird' by other employees, they are openly accepted. In the end it is up to a person too. How much as a Sikh you accept and love your Sabat Soorat and Baana.

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