NRI awarded $24,000 for discrimination case against US fitness centre
Fresno, California, April 26, 2007
On Wednesday, a federal judge has ordered Bally Total Fitness to
pay $24,000 to NRI Sukdev "Devin" Singh Dhaliwal, a sikh
man who sued when the company denied him a job. Actually he was
asked: "where he was born, where his parents were born, what
religion he subscribed to and whether he was a Muslim," said
EEOC program analyst Linda Li. "He's very American."
Dhaliwal was born and raised in California. The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission reported that its suit charged that Sukdev
"Devin" Singh Dhaliwal was discriminated against based
on his Sikh religion and Indian national heritage when he applied
for a sales job at Bally Total Fitness in Fresno in 2004.
Under the consent decree approved Thursday by U.S. District Judge
Jeffrey S. White, Bally must pay Dhaliwal $24,000 in damages and
provide training in equal opportunity hiring practices to managers
at its Fresno locations.
According to the local paper's report: Dhaliwal said he plans to
donate some of the money to his alma mater, California State University,
Fresno, where a business law professor urged him to lodge a complaint
Bally Total Fitness is the largest and only nationwide commercial
operator of fitness centers with over 400 club locations in the
USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, S. Korea and China.
NRI sue Fresno Bally
Total Fitness for discriminate hiring practices
Fresno, May 03, 2006
NRI Sukdev "Devin" Singh Dhaliwal, applied for a sales
position at the Bally Total Fitness center where he was a member
in 2004. During the interview, he was asked a number of questions
pertaining to his Indian origin and Sikh religion, which is a violation
of federal employment laws, said Joan Ehrlich, director for the
EEOC’s San Francisco district.
“After you are offered the job it is okay to ask those questions
such as whether there are certain days you can’t work,”
Ms. Ehrlich said. “In this instance, it was blatant discrimination.”
She added that Mr. Dhaliwal’s qualifications made him equal
to or greater than other employees who worked at the Fresno, Calif.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages up to $300,000, a change
in Bally Total Fitness’ hiring practices and staff education
on proper hiring practices, Ms. Ehrlich said.