HomeAmericasIndo AmericaToronto Apologizes, Rolls Back ‘No-Beard’ Mandate Affecting Sikhs

Toronto Apologizes, Rolls Back ‘No-Beard’ Mandate Affecting Sikhs

Toronto Apologizes, Rolls Back ‘No-Beard’ Mandate Affecting Sikhs

TORONTO, (ANI) – The city of Toronto has formally apologized for “any delay” in reinstating the Sikh security guard whose services were terminated over a “no-beard” policy.

Effective from July the city will immediately permit “under-mask beard covers” as a reasonable accommodation option for individuals who maintain facial hair as a tenet of their faith, according to an official statement. It has also asked contracted security service providers to accommodate any Sikh security guard employees who have requested religious exemptions and reinstate any employee whose employment was terminated.

Notably, the World Sikh Organization of Canada had demanded Toronto change the rule requiring all security guards to be clean-shaven. ‘Toronto’ Sun had in its report cited WSO as saying that over 100 Sikh security guards had lost their positions at city sites over the rule that requires them to be clean-shaven, so they can wear N95 masks.

Contracted employees who maintain facial hair were not fitted for protective N95 respirators required by public health directives in shelter settings where a Covid-19 outbreak is suspected or present.

The Toronto Sun cited WSO Legal Counsel Balpreet Singh as saying that private contractors that employed the guards told them that they were following city orders and when the guards were told they could ask for an exemption based on religious requirements, companies either moved them to lesser-paying positions or laid them off rather than deal with the city’s demands.

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