Sikh salesman settles suit against Lexus dealership


Dispute began in 2009 with a pre-hiring requirement set by the dealership.


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A car salesman, who is a member of the Sikh religion, has won a lawsuit against a Lexus dealership, where he had applied for work. The dealership had a policy that the prospective salesman said violated his religious beliefs.

According to an article in India West, in 2009, Gurpreet Kherha filed a discrimination charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that a Lexus dealer in New Jersey had a "no beards" policy for their salesmen and that he was told to shave his beard before starting work at the store. He claimed that the policy violated his religious rights. Earlier this month, the EEOC issued a press release saying that Mr. Kherha entered into a consent decree with the dealership and was awarded $50,000 in compensatory damages. The decree also requires the Lexus store to train its staff against discriminatory practices, with a focus on religious discrimination and religious accommodation laws.

"I believe the outcome of this case was very positive and encourages anyone who believes they have been discriminated against, to take action to ensure that all employees are treated equally in the workplace no matter their race or religion," said Mr. Kherha in a statement issued by the Sikh Coalition. Mr. Kherha thanked the Sikh Coalition and his attorney for pursuing the case for years.



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