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.