Monday, April 14, 2014

Hair Sampling Bill Poses Threat to Sikh Operators in USA

On October 30, 2013, Congressman Eric “Rick” Crawford (R-AR) introduced the Drug Free Commercial Driver Act of 2013 (H.R. 3403). It has been co-sponsored by Representatives Tom Cotton (R-AR), Tim Griffin (R-AR), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Steve Womack (R-AR), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Sean Duffy, (R-WI), and Randy Weber (R-TX). As stands, the bill has been assigned to the Highways and Transit subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

This bill would allow Employers to force a Sikh operator to provide a hair sample, thereby preventing Sikhs from seeking employment as operators due to their inability to cut their hair for any purpose.Once again,Sikhs would have to choose between employment, and their faith.
United Sikhs have vigorously been tracking this bill, reaching out to other organizations, and creating dialogue with the appropriate staffers on this bill to educate them on the tenants of the Sikh faith and how detrimental this would be to our community.

 Last year,United Sikhs wrote a legal demand letter to a trucking company in Arizona which refused to hire an elderly Sikh unless he submitted a freshly cut sample of his hair for drug testing. The company refused to accept urinalysis, or other means of testing which are commonly used in the trucking industry. After failing to get a response to their letter, United Sikhs filed a complaint with the EEOC who are currently investigating the matter.
If this proposed bill goes through, it will unfold disastrous consequences for Sikh truck drivers. It will essentially give the trucking industry a free hand to impetuously reject Sikh applicants .
Devout Sikhs should not be forced to choose between employment, and their faith. 

 While this bill has not yet been brought to a vote,  United Sikhs urge community to sign this petition  to your elected officials, especially constituents of those officials who have sponsored, or co-sponsored the bill, and request them not to proceed with it. The officials should be informed of the detrimental effect of this bill on the Sikh community, and that overall, it stands in stark contrast to the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
With thanks :

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