Monday, July 5, 2010

Safety Last

In Ontario The Hyper-Virtuous, "rights" trump safety, reports the Toronto Sun:
A Home Depot manager discriminated against a Sikh security guard who refused to replace his turban with a hard hat, a human rights tribunal has ruled.
The decision, by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, stated Milton Home Depot assistant manager Brian Busch discriminated against Deepinder Loomba “by selectively enforcing” a hard hat rule.

“I’m happy, it’s been a long battle after five years,” Loomba, 52, said Thursday. “In the multicultural society, more education is required on religion, so these problems won’t reoccur.”

Loomba — contracted under Reilly’s Security — said Busch told him on On Dec. 6, 2005 that he had to take off his turban and put on a hard hat because of construction taking place inside the store.

The company argued that safety attire needed to be worn anywhere on store property during construction.

Loomba testified he was mocked by Busch and other employees when he refused to take off the turban. He said he was later told by Busch that he could be fired for not wearing a hard hat.

In the written decision, tribunal vice-chair Ena Chada wrote that Home Depot and Busch picked on Loomba and was guilty of “discriminatory treatment in the form of rude and offensive comments and conduct” based on his Sikh religion.

“I am satisfied that the complainant was treated differently because of his turban and that this was negative differential treatment,” she said.

The immigrant, who arrived from Uganda in 2002, said the turban is part of the Sikh religion and his hair cannot be exposed in public.

Busch, a 13-year employee of Home Depot, told the commission that he has transferred Sikhs who could not remove their turbans for religious reasons to other locations temporarily until construction was over.

The Home Depot said it was disappointed in the tribunal decision...
Hey, I have no problem with the ruling--provided any turban-wearer who gets his noggin creased by falling construction debris agrees to foot his own medical bills and waive worker's comp.

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