Sikh TSA agent wins suit over religious wristband

WASHINGTON — A Sikh security officer at New York’s largest airport won a $30,000 settlement against the Department of Homeland … Continued

WASHINGTON — A Sikh security officer at New York’s largest airport won a $30,000 settlement against the Department of Homeland Security, which had forbidden him from displaying his kara — a wristband that Sikhs wear to remind them of the divine.

Kulwinder Singh called it a violation of his religious rights, and took his case to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC determined that the Transportation Security Administration was wrong to have Singh hide his kara under a long-sleeved shirt, or not wear it at all.

The case alleged discrimination on the basis of Singh’s religion under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC decided the case in March and required the TSA to allow employees to wear the kara freely, and to post a notice of the violation by mid-June.

“Whenever you raise your hand, it’s supposed to be there,” said Singh, who has worked as a TSA agent at John F. Kennedy International Airport for more than five years. Nearly two years ago, he was told by a supervisor to remove the kara, or hide it.

The kara, a steel or iron band which also represents the eternal nature of the divine, is supposed to remind the wearer to behave righteously and to protect others. “By keeping it concealed, it defeats that purpose,” said Hansdeep Singh, an attorney who represented Kulwinder Singh.

The DHS did not immediately comment on the settlement.

Hansdeep Singh said he sees discrimination against Sikhs — a 500-year-old monotheistic religion practiced mostly in Southeast Asia — as a litmus test for discrimination in general, because Sikhism is manifested in adherents’ outward appearance.

Beyond the kara, Sikh men don’t cut their hair and wear it under turbans. Sikh and Muslim workers at New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority recently won a ruling that allows them to wear blue turbans on the job without having to affix an MTA logo.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Universal Uclick.

  • fisher1949

    They pulled a woman’s top off in Corpus Christi, exposing her to everyone in the area and then TSA screeners taunted her about it but sheon;y got $10,000. This man gets three times that much because he is a TSA worker simply because he can’t wear a bracelet.

    This agency is so morally bankrupt that it is sickening.

  • BaltoGal

    I wonder if you can read what’s on his bracelet while he’s got his hand down your pants.

  • therealhawkman1

    Perhaps the women should have gotten a better lawyer.

Read More Articles

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

concert
Why I Want to Be Culturally Evangelical

I’ve lost my faith. Do I have to lose my heritage, too?

shutterstock_37148347
What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.