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Tell President Obama to End Workplace Segregation

According to some interpretations of federal law, employers with 'corporate image' policies can hide Sikhs from customers.  In other words, some courts have effectively given employers permission to tell a Sikh that his or her face is not fit to be seen by customers and should be hidden in a backroom out of public view.  The Sikh Coalition finds this offensive and contrary to the integrative purposes of civil rights law.  We are trying to put an end to this modern-day version of the 'separate but equal' doctrine through direct outreach to our nation's leaders, and we now call upon you to spare a few seconds of your time and sign a petition letter to  President Barack Obama, asking him to join the fight.

Dear President Obama:

As a supporter of civil rights, I am writing to express concern about troubling misinterpretations of federal employment discrimination law. Although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits religious discrimination in the workplace, some federal courts have misinterpreted Title VII in ways that allow employers to segregate Sikhs, Muslims, and Jews from customers in the name of ‘corporate image’ policies.

In one case involving a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf, a court improperly assumed that segregating her from customers did not constitute an “adverse employment action” relating to “compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” or deprive her of “employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect [her] status as an employee.” In another case, a court held that an employer satisfied its Title VII obligation to make a “reasonable” accommodation of a turbaned Sikh employee by offering him positions out of public view.

I am troubled by these misinterpretations and the discriminatory impact they have on individuals whose religious observance encompasses adherence to dress and grooming requirements. I believe that segregating such individuals in the workplace inherently constitutes an “adverse employment action” relating to the “terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” and that segregating individuals from customers in the name of so-called ‘corporate image’ policies is inherently unreasonable. Such policies reinforce bigoted stereotypes about what American workers should look like; prevent employees of faith from gaining customer service experience, thwarting their professional growth; and clearly undermine the integrative purpose of Title VII.

In light of these concerns, please use your executive authority to condemn the practice of workplace segregation, and please urge the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to issue corrective guidance clarifying that workplace segregation is illegal and un-American.
Optional Member Code


1-25 of 1880 signatures
Number Date Name Location
1880 Sat Nov 12 17:36:56 EST 2011 Manmeet Toor Los Angeles, CA
1879 Fri Jun 24 21:03:39 EDT 2011 Gulwant Singh Gill Atlanta, GA
1878 Thu Jun 16 16:44:51 EDT 2011 Gurkaran Singh Seattle, WA
1877 Tue Jun 14 08:41:54 EDT 2011 aman makkar San Ramon, CA
1876 Tue Jun 14 00:44:44 EDT 2011 Madhu Singh Itasca, IL
1875 Fri Jun 10 20:49:07 EDT 2011 Gurmukh Singh Buffalo, NY
1874 Sat May 21 08:29:53 EDT 2011 Paramjit Singh Babra Sydney, ot
1873 Sat May 21 02:41:37 EDT 2011 Anonymous Antioch, CA
1872 Fri May 20 11:42:07 EDT 2011 Harvinder Sandhu Riverside, CA
1871 Wed May 18 00:21:11 EDT 2011 SALENA GREWAL UNION CITY, CA
1870 Mon May 16 18:14:08 EDT 2011 Bachant Singh Vallejo, CA
1869 Mon May 16 14:59:21 EDT 2011 Balpreet and Baljeet Jammu Columbus, OH
1868 Mon May 16 13:55:18 EDT 2011 Amandeep Bajwa hayward, CA
1867 Sun May 15 22:59:21 EDT 2011 BALJIT SEHMBI NEWINGTON, CT
1866 Sun May 15 16:19:20 EDT 2011 Harvinder Pal Singh SOUTH SALEM, NY
1865 Sun May 15 01:02:31 EDT 2011 Anonymous Parlier, CA
1864 Sat May 14 23:53:46 EDT 2011 Ravneet Ohri Mississuaga, ON
1863 Sat May 14 23:31:36 EDT 2011 Gurmeet Beasley Castro Valley, CA
1862 Sat May 14 14:33:06 EDT 2011 HARJEET SINGH CHAHAR New Westminster , BC
1861 Sat May 14 14:30:09 EDT 2011 HARJEET SINGH CHAHAR New Westminster , BC
1860 Fri May 13 16:59:09 EDT 2011 Sardul Pannu Winter Garden, FL
1859 Fri May 13 15:59:13 EDT 2011 Raminder Taneja Chantilly, VA
1858 Fri May 13 13:39:36 EDT 2011 Inderjit Kaur Boca Raton, FL
1857 Fri May 13 13:30:39 EDT 2011 Bahadur Singh Khalsa North Miami, FL
1856 Fri May 13 11:50:57 EDT 2011 rocky singh NY
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