Domino's Pizza Affirms Employee's Right to Wear Turban

May 16, 2006

Source: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

On May 16, 2006 Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund reported, "The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) successfully resolved the issue of a Sikh American gentleman who was disallowed from wearing his daastar or turban while on the job working as a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza franchise in Maryland. Jaswant Singh was hired in 2005 as a Domino's Pizza delivery driver. Shortly after the start of his employment, he was asked to remove his turban and wear a Domino's-issued baseball cap. According to the owner of Domino's Pizza Franchise #4673 in Laurel, Maryland, the directive to Mr. Singh to remove his turban arose out of concerns that Mr. Singh's hair could fall on the pizza while delivering pizza. Determined not be humiliated and compromise on his religious rights, Mr. Singh contacted SALDEF to address this discriminatory practice and seek recourse on his behalf. In a letter addressed to the General Counsel of Domino's Pizza, Inc, SALDEF noted that, 'We are surprised that a Domino's manager would take the untenable position that a Domino's-issued baseball cap, which can easily be taken on and off, would provide more "protection" against food contamination in both preparing and delivering a pizza to a customer than a turban, which cannot be easily taken on and off. It should be apparent that there can be no bona fide occupational requirement justifying Domino's interference with Mr. Singh's religious expression as described above.'"