Friday, August 29, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Yamada introduces new bill to bolster workplace freedoms

Darshan Mundy, public relations officer of the Sikh Temple Sacramento, makes opening comments at a news conference Wednesday at which Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, announced the introduction of AB 1964, a workplace religious freedom act, at Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple in West Sacramento. Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is center back. Kim Orendor/Enterprise photo

By
From page A4 | April 12, 2012 |

WEST SACRAMENTO — Surrounded by representatives of various faiths at a news conference Wednesday, Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, announced the introduction of Assembly Bill 1964, which would “update and strengthen” the protections of religious freedoms in the workplace.

The event took place at the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple in West Sacramento.

“Currently, there’s a federal definition of undue hardship, and the state’s definition — it’s a mixed bag,” Yamada told The Enterprise. “We want to strengthen the definition of undue hardship in the state that will provide greater protection to Sikhs and Muslims, and all religious practices that have attire as part of their faith.”

AB 1964 would amend Section 12940 of the Government Code, which prevents employers from discrimination based on a person’s religious belief or observance.

The code reads, “Religious belief or observance, as used in this section, includes, but is not limited to, observance of a Sabbath of other religious holy days or days, and reasonable time necessary for travel prior and subsequent to a religious observance.”

AB 1964 would add: “and the practice of wearing religious clothing or a religious hairstyle.”

It further amends the code to include the wearing of certain apparel or jewelry, carrying an object of faith and styling of hair and beards. The “carrying an object” would give allowance for the Sikhs, who carry a kirban — a small blunted knife — as part of their tenets.

While the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 — from where the bill takes its name — made it illegal to discriminate based on sex, race, color, religion or birthplace for employment, lawsuits have been filed against employers who have found loopholes. Because of their apparel, Sikhs and Muslims are sometimes given jobs that keep them from public interaction.

“Sikhs and Muslims should not have to go to the back of the store to support their families,” Yamada said.

Rajdeep Singh, director of law and policy for The Sikh Coalition, said Sikhs have been in California for more than a century.
“This is a source of hope and inspiration for Sikhs,” he said. “In the private sector, there is discrimination by what people look like. It is a case of ‘separate but equal.’ “

The Church State Council, a religious liberty ministry of the Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventists, put its support behind the bill.

“Because of AB 1964, fewer Californians will suffer the loss of their jobs because of their faith,” said director Dennis Seaton. “Fewer Californians will languish on unemployment rolls because they are unable to obtain jobs.”

AB 1964 faces a hearing Wednesday, April 18, in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. If it passes, it will go to a second committee before reaching appropriations and finally the Assembly floor.

“We know California has been a leader in civil rights,” Yamada said. “We need to update it to the changing demographics of the state.”

Davis resident Darshan Mundy, who is the public relations officer of Sikh Temple Sacramento, said there are 40,000 Sikhs in the greater metropolitan area and 350,000 in California.

— Reach Kim Orendor at korendor@davisenterprise.net

Comments

comments

.

News

Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Davis Innovation Center team fields questions

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
California extends review of $25B delta plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Equestrian eventing competition slated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Forum explores local mental health services

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

 
 
Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Free blood pressure screenings offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Books, conversation and poetry at Logos

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Forum

Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

 
Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

What if we need MRAP?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

 
How could tank be helpful?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

Don’t sentence our police to death

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

 
Will Davis see river water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

Travel buddy is getting too fat

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils scrimmage with Sac

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6

Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

Technology makes a great car better

By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Margarita Elizondo

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics