Sikh Advocacy Group Settles with Fleet Bank

May 31, 2002

Source: Newsday

On May 31, 2002 Newsday reported that "a Sikh businessman... has filed suit against Fleet National Bank, charging it denied him the opportunity to open a $250,000 certificate of deposit at a Fleet branch because of his appearance... 'My civil rights were violated,' said Inderjeet Singh Chowdhary, who wears a turban and facial hair in accordance with his faith. 'I have certain rights as a customer and in my opinion I had all the qualifications. I'm a resident and a citizen of this country'... Chowdhary claims in his lawsuit that [Carteret, NJ branch manager Alicia] Eagleston... said that as the branch manager she had the right to look at a customer and decide who can and who cannot open a certificate of deposit... The racial discrimination lawsuit was filed in Middlesex County, N.J., Superior Court... The Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force, a Washington-based advocacy group, is issuing a news release today in support of Chowdhary."