A Sikh man in the US will receive USD 50,000 as compensation to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit against a car dealership in New Jersey for denying him a job for maintaining a beard.
Gurpreet Kherha had filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a lawsuit in 2009 against Tri-County Lexus, where he had applied for a position as a sales associate and was qualified for the job.
EEOC said after the car dealership requested Kherha to shave his beard, he refused to comply due to his religious beliefs.
The dealership denied him the job, the agency charged.
According to the lawsuit, Tri-County Lexus had a "no-beard" policy for sales and administrative personnel and it strictly enforced its dress code policy without granting reasonable religious accommodations.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kherha by rights group Sikh Coalition and the EEOC.
Under the settlement reached in the case, the car dealership would pay USD 50,000 to Kherha and the firm has been urged not to discriminate on the basis of religion in future.
Tri-County has also entered into a two-year consent decree with the federal government under which it is required to undertake a series of "remedial" measures including revising its written policies and procedures prohibiting employment discrimination and providing anti-discrimination training to employees and management.
It is also required to post a notice regarding the resolution of the lawsuit.