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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-07-04-2006-00.htm

Press Release: Friday, 7th April 2006, 25 Chayat (Samvat 538 Nanakshahi)

UNITED SIKHS Helps Illinois Fitness Instructor Secure his Right To Wear a Turban at Work

Darein, Illinois, USA – UNITED SIKHS successfully intervened to ensure that a fitness instructor, Harmeet Singh, was able to wear his Turban at work after he was told by his employer last month that he would have to remove his Turban, a required article of the Sikh faith.

Harmeet Singh, a personal trainer at Darein X Sports Fitness Center in Illinois, was notified by his supervisor on the third day of his employment that according to company policy, no employee was allowed to wear a head covering.

Harmeet Singh: Illinois Fitness instructor who sought UNITED SIKHS' help to fight for his right to wear his turban at work

“This came as a shock to me as I had worn my Turban during XSport's training sessions and also during a National Personal Training Certification course offered by NCSF (National Council for Strength and Fitness). Before signing up, I was assured that I would be hired to work as soon as I receive the study material from the NCSF,” said Harmeet Singh.

“On March 23, 2006 one of the XSport's Director by the name of Bill approached me and told me that it is the company's policy that while at work one cannot wear any head covering including the Turban as XSport is not a religious organization,” he added.

Harmeet Singh explained the significance of the Turban to his supervisor who referred him to the Company’s handbook on the Dress Code.

“I contacted UNITED SIKHS as I felt unable to reason with my supervisor,” Harmeet Singh said.

“UNITED SIKHS was pleased to find that despite the supervisor’s stance, X Sports Fitness Center’s had a Corporate Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy that provided for an employee’s religious rights at the workplace as protected by the Illinois Human Rights Act,” said Tejinder Singh, UNITED SIKHS Legal Advisor.

“We helped Harmeet Singh draft a letter citing the law and company policy and a few days later Harmeet Singh got the good news from his supervisor that he will be allowed to wear his Turban at work,” Tejinder Singh added.

We have written to X Sports Fitness Center to applaud them for being quick to comply with their policy which is consistent within the state and federal laws. Click here to read letter.

If you or anyone you know has been discriminated against in the school, university or workplace, please contact UNITED SIKHS at contact@unitedsikhs.org or call 1-888-243-1690 for assistance.

To read a previous Press Release on UNITED SIKHS’ advocacy for Sikh religious rights, click http://unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-29-12-2005-00.htm

Issued by:
Manwinder Singh
Director, International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy Directorate

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