BY A STAFF WRITER
CLARKSVILLE, TN -- The Sikh Coalition, on behalf of Dr. Jaswinder Pal Singh, on December 27 filed a discrimination lawsuit in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The suit alleges that Singh, an observant Indian American Sikh physician who keeps a religiously-mandated turban and beard, was denied a neurology job after the employer and recruiter inquired into his religious appearance, according to a Coalition statement.
Additionally, it claims that as part of the 2014 hiring process, the employer, Premier Medical Group, P.C., and its recruiter, Arthur Marshall Inc., expressed interest and concern about the way Singh looked.
The Coalition added that during the vetting process, Singh’s credentials were praised by the recruiter during phone interviews. It wasn’t until Singh submitted photographs of himself along with additional information on Sikhs and Sikhism that he was denied further interviews.
Meanwhile, the job he sought remained vacant.
“It was very clear to me that I was denied employment because of my ethnic background and religious appearance,” said Singh in a statement.
“I contacted the Sikh Coalition because nobody is better at holding companies accountable for their discrimination.”
Singh was represented by the Coalition in 2015 in filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
After the EEOC issued a right to sue notice, the coalition partnered with Tennessee plaintiff attorney Douglas B. Janney III to file the anti-discrimination lawsuit against Premier Medical Group and Arthur Marshall.
Singh’s suit seeks to secure a court order requiring that both defendants implement anti-discrimination policies, practices and training to ensure that they do not discriminate against any future applicants.
“No Sikh in any job or profession should ever be denied employment because of their religion,” Singh said. “By speaking out and taking action, I know that we will continue to hold employers directly accountable.”
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