Employer Violated Religious Principles of Sikh Workers by Cutting Their Hair

July 10, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP


On July 10, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "A Malaysian employer forcibly cut the hair of three of her Sikh employees from India and prohibited them from wearing turbans _ a grave violation of the religion's centuries-old custom, a newspaper reported Sunday.

'Our employer said we were not allowed to wear a turban as we would not be able to wear a safety helmet if we had a turban,' the New Sunday Times quoted one of the workers, Darshan Singh, as saying.

According to Sikh tradition, males are forbidden to cut their hair, which serves as a symbol of their faith. Typically their unshorn locks are wrapped in a turban.

'We refused to cut our hair but she called individually into a room and we were held down by two men while another cut our hair,' he said.

Darshan, 29, was also cited as saying that the employer, who was not identified, had not paid his or his colleagues' wages... The report said the three were among 16 people brought to Malaysia by a local company to put up telecommunication towers."