Sikh man facing discrimination gets $50,000

New York–A Sikh man in the US state of New Jersey, who faced discrimination for sporting a beard, has received $50,000 in settlement.

Gurpreet S. Kherha, now 29, from Paramus, New Jersey, applied for a job at the Tri-County Lexus, a car dealership in Little Falls in 2008.

He was allegedly told that he would not be hired because he had a beard, which was a violation of the dealership’s “no beard” policy for sales and administrative personnel, the news portal reported Tuesday.

The consent decree was signed Nov 15 in Newark between the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Tri-County Lexus in Little Falls.

After the incident, Kherha contacted the Sikh Coalition, which works to protect human rights, and filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The commission filed the federal lawsuit in Newark against the dealership in October 2010.

“We feel the resolution of this matter is positive for all parties involved,” Kherha’s attorney Ravinder Bhalla was quoted as saying in an email.

“Kherha has obtained both the benefit of monetary compensation and the knowledge that this litigation resulted in substantive non-monetary policy reforms, which will ultimately also make Tri-County Lexus a better business,” Bhalla added.

However, in the agreement, Tri-County Lexus denied all of the allegations of discrimination and said it entered into the decree “solely to avoid the burdens and expenses of litigation”.—IANS