Sukhbir Channa, a practicing Sikh, has sued Walt Disney World after the theme park fired him for allegedly not having the “Disney look.” Channa wears a turban, beard and long hair—practices required by his religious beliefs.
This is a case in which a company’s dress code collides with workplace diversity, and it may be a sign of more conflict to come. The EEOC thinks enough of the problem that it recently published a guidance document on how employers should accommodate their employees’ religious beliefs.
The turbaned musician
Disney hired Channa in October 2005 as a musician. Disney musicians play both “parade” and “atmospheric” performances. Initially, Disney managers accommodated Channa’s dress and grooming needs by allowing him to wear a toy soldier’s hat over his turban during parade performances and a red turban (while others wore red berets) during atmospheric shows.
But the turban didn’t sit well in the Ma...(register to read more)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Dole out even the small perks equally
- Agree on a follow-up plan
- Quick application of anti-harassment policy cuts liability--even in highly charged race cases
- When religion is crux of workplace problems, base discipline on behavior--not belief