Sikh Woman in US Victim of Racial Abuse

October 26, 2006

Source: Hindustan Times,001600060017.htm

A Sikh woman was discriminated against and insulted at her workplace here, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said.

"Based on consideration of the documentary and testimonial evidence, the commission determines that the respondent subjected charging parties and a class of similarly situated individuals to harassment on the basis of their race, national origin, sex (female)," the EEOC said in its finding.

Sukhvir Kaur had filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC last year after a manager at the National Wholesale Liquidators here, where she was employed, asked her to remove her turban. He also insulted her by saying that Indian and Pakistani employees were "dirty" and "nasty" and that Sikh employees were "thieves".

Kaur was told that Indians and Pakistanis were not wanted at the store, and that Guyanese and Spanish employees were preferred, according to the Sikh Sangat website.

The manager also threatened her with dire consequences if she reported the matter to the police. She was finally fired by the manager in October 2004.

The commission released its findings after a yearlong investigation. It also interviewed south Asian workers employed at the National Wholesale Liquidators branch where Kaur was employed.