The Sikh Coalition filed a lawsuit last week in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on behalf of Dr. Jaswinder Pal Singh. The suit alleges that Dr. Singh – an observant Sikh physician and father who keeps a religiously mandated turban and beard – was denied a neurology job after the employer and recruiter inquired into his religious appearance.
The suit further alleges 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 Dr. Singh looked. Although in phone interviews the recruiter praised Dr. Singh’s credentials, he was abruptly denied further interviews after he submitted photographs of himself, along with additional information on Sikhs and Sikhism. The job then remained vacant.
“It was very clear to me that I was denied employment because of my ethnic background and religious appearance,” said Dr. Singh. “I contacted the Sikh Coalition because nobody is better at holding companies accountable for their discrimination.”
In 2015, the Sikh Coalition represented Dr. Singh in filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After the EEOC issued a right to sue notice, we established a legal partnership with the reputable Tennessee plaintiff attorney, Douglas B. Janney III, to file the anti-discrimination lawsuit against the employer, Premier Medical Group, and its recruiter, Arthur Marshall.
“Whether you are a doctor in Tennessee or a truck driver in California, we will always protect and defend your right to practice your faith fearlessly,” said Sikh Coalition Legal Director, Harsimran Kaur.
Last month, the Sikh Coalition announced a massive legal victory on behalf of four Sikh truck drivers who were denied jobs by one of the largest trucking companies in America. This new lawsuit, on behalf of Dr. Singh, 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,” said Dr. Singh. “By speaking out and taking action, I know that we will continue to hold employers directly accountable.”