Hair Testing Discrimination Case Settled by Trucking Company J.B. Hunt Transport for $260,000
Written by Lucas Kibby, CleanFleet
Under the agreement, which avoids litigation, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. will pay $260,000 in damages and will extend conditional offers of employment to the four Sikh drivers who were denied jobs for refusing to take drug tests that would have violated their religious beliefs.
J.B. Hunt Transport reached the settlement being announced Nov 15th, 2016 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to the agreement provided to The AP.
The trucking company required three men to clip their hair for drug samples and required a fourth to remove his turban before providing a urine sample, said The Sikh Coalition.
Observant Sikhs never cut their hair and wear turbans in public at all times. For Sikhs, it is considered shameful and humiliating to remove a turban in public.
The four drivers were not offered testing alternatives to hair testing, which can show the presence of drugs several months after use, and were denied jobs when refusing to submit to the drug tests.
One of the drivers, Lakhbir Singh, said he always submitted to urine drug tests for other jobs. When J.B. Hunt Transport required a hair clipping for testing in 2011, he offered to provide a hair sample from his comb, but wouldn’t allow his hair to be clipped.
After losing the job, he struggled to find full-time work to support his family the next 5 years. He now works for another trucking company.
J.B. Hunt agreed to revise its anti-discrimination policies and provide training on accommodating religious beliefs, according to the agreement.