June 6, 2022 (New York, NY) - Today, the Sikh Coalition is excited to launch Accommodating Sikhs in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers
, a new online resource for public and private sector employers in the United States to learn about Sikhs, ensure that their employment decisions are legally-compliant, and welcome diverse talent to their teams.
Click here to download the Accommodating Sikhs in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers for free.
“This guide serves to educate U.S. employers about Sikh employees, including their religiously mandated articles of faith and the legal standards that protect religious practice in the workplace,” said Harsimran Kaur, Sikh Coalition Senior Counsel. “We hope that the sangat can utilize this resource and share it with their current or potential employers to address any challenges that may arise in the workplace.”
Accommodating Sikhs in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers
provides background on the history of Sikhs living in the U.S., explains what the Sikh articles of faith are, and outlines existing U.S. legal protections for religious minority employees. Most importantly, it discusses and provides specific examples of how to achieve mutually acceptable solutions to the accommodation of Sikh religious practices in the workplace.
Since our organization’s founding, hundreds of Sikhs have contacted the Sikh Coalition for help to resolve employment discrimination cases, including instances where their articles of faith conflicted with workplace policies. Our goal in creating and disseminating this guide is to demystify and explain Sikh practices so that employers understand how to welcome and accommodate Sikhs in the workplace.
Indeed, over the course of the pandemic, more than two dozen frontline healthcare workers contacted the Sikh Coalition after being told to shave their religiously-mandated beards to wear N95 masks. In addition to favorably resolving these cases by securing accommodations for our clients, the Sikh Coalition has taken steps to address this issue at a systemic level, including by testifying before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
in April 2021 and submitting policy recommendations to various federal and state agencies.
The Sikh community has disproportionately been subject to workplace discrimination, but no one should be forced to choose between their faith and career. Ultimately, this new resource will help U.S. employers implement legally-grounded and culturally-competent practices that counter workplace discrimination, advance equal employment opportunity and lead to a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all. The guide now joins other free resources on Sikhi that we have created for journalists
, and healthcare professionals
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.