Indian American doctor files religious discrimination lawsuit against medical organization

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Sikh advocacy group Sikh Coalition filed the lawsuit on Tuesday.

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A Sikh doctor from Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against a medical organization alleging that he was denied a neurology job for his religious appearance.

Sikh advocacy group Sikh Coalition filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in the US District Court for the Middle district of Tennessee on behalf of Jaswinder Pal Singh.

Singh, keeps a religiously mandated turban and beard, is a licensed and board certified physician practicing neurology. The law suit alleges that he was denied a neurology job after the employer and recruiter inquired into his religious appearance.

The suit further alleges that the employer Premier Medical Group and its recruiter Arthur Marshall Inc expressed interest and concern about the way Singh looked as part of the 204 hiring process.

Though the recruiter praised Singh’s credentials in phone interviews, Singh was allegedly abruptly denied further interviews after he submitted photographs of himself, along with additional information on Sikhs and Sikhism. The job then remained vacant, it said.

“It was very clear to me that I was denied employment because of my ethnic background and religious appearance,” Singh said in a statement released by the coalition.

“No Sikh in any job or profession should ever be denied employment because of their religion. By speaking out and taking action, I know that we will continue to hold employers directly accountable,” Singh, who migrated to the US from India in 2008, said.

Singh explained that he is a Sikh and maintains unshorn hair including a beard and wears a turban in accordance with his faith to which the individual allegedly replied that he did not know who Sikhs were.

“Defendants failed and refused to hire (Singh) for the available neurologist position at Premier Medical Group because of his race, color, religion and/or national origin,” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit seeks to secure a court order requiring both defendants implement anti-discrimination policies, practices and training to ensure that they do not discriminate against any future applicants.