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Sikh truck drivers reach discrimination settlement with J.B. Hunt

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – On the heels of a seven-year federal investigation, four Sikh truck drivers have reached a settlement with American trucking giant J.B. Hunt after the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission found evidence the company discriminated against the drivers because of their articles of faith.

The trucking company has agreed to pay $260,000 in damages, and has additionally agreed to amend its policies and practices to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.

While the settlement will alleviate some of the losses the drivers incurred, the broader policy changes will positively impact Sikhs and other employees who may face discrimination in the company’s workplace. The company will be required to train its hiring personnel on anti-discrimination law and submit reports to the EEOC for the next two years about its workplace anti-discrimination efforts.

Sikhs, who have been an integral piece of California’s economy for over 125 years, are religiously mandated to maintain articles of faith, including unshorn hair and turbans. An estimated 500,000 Sikhs live in the United States and about half of the population lives in California.

“I am relieved by this resolution because no one should have to face humiliation because of their religious beliefs,” said the lead complainant, Jagtar Singh Anandpuri, in a statement released by the Sikh Coalition. “I have been driving a truck for years, and I know there is nothing about my faith that interferes with my ability to do my job.”

Three truckers were denied accommodations after they informed the company that they could not cut their religiously mandated hair for drug testing. The fourth was denied after he refused company orders to remove his turban during a urine test. In each case, J.B. Hunt automatically denied employment, despite the client’s otherwise impeccable job qualifications.

“Our clients repeatedly asked for alternatives within the drug testing regimes that would allow them to follow their religious tenets, and those requests were denied. Thankfully J.B. Hunt has finally switched gears and moved into the right lane to comply with federal anti-discrimination law,” said the Sikh Coalition’s Legal Director, Harsimran Kaur.

Even though J.B. Hunt have now changed their rules and regulations, their actions may have put some truck drivers off working for them. Luckily for them, there are plenty of trucking companies like CSA Transportation who they could instead drive for. As for the drug tests, there is a multitude of ways that drug testing can be done, such as urine and breath tests; it doesn’t have to be hair. These employees can look into where to take drug test college park if they are based there (or research one that is closer to their employment area) to keep within the rules, but do it in a better way that respects their religion.

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Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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