LOS ANGELES, Calif. – J.B. Hunt has agreed to pay US$260,000 in damages, after a seven-year federal investigation found its drug testing requirements were discriminatory towards Sikh truck drivers.
It will also amend company policies and practices to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.
Three clients represented by The Sikh Coalition said they were denied accommodations after they informed the company they could not cut their religiously mandated hair for drug testing. The fourth client was denied an accommodation to the company’s demand that he remove his turban while providing a urine sample. In each case, J.B. Hunt automatically denied employment, despite the client’s otherwise impeccable job qualifications, according to the group.
The US Department of Transportation does not require hair sample tests for employment.
“Our clients repeatedly asked for alternatives within the drug testing regimes that would allow them to follow their religious tenets, and those requests were denied. Thankfully J.B. Hunt has finally switched gears and moved into the right lane to comply with federal anti-discrimination law,” said the Sikh Coalition’s legal director, Harsimran Kaur.
“I am relieved by this resolution because no one should have to face humiliation because of their religious beliefs,” said the lead complainant, Jagtar Singh Anandpuri. “I have been driving a truck for years, and I know there is nothing about my faith that interferes with my ability to do my job.”