Sunday, August 31, 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

 
Davis audience hears from civil-rights hero

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Bob Dunning: This new kid might have a future

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
Five U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

EU threatens Russia with more sanctions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Legislators wrap up with water, ethics, guns bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Robbery, pursuit in Central Davis lead to one arrest

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Rotary clubs offer Davis High students some life lessons

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Bean Feed supports for Yolo Democrats’ activities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Bauer garden marks one year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Dinner will raise funds to help farmers in Burkina Faso

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Beamer Park featured at Stroll Through History

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tuleyome Tales: Be safe on wilderness trails

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

 
Small wineries suffer big losses in quake

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Grande site has been a convoluted saga

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Say goodbye to summer with a ‘Final Blast’ at Explorit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Bay Bridge project’s rainy-day money is nearly gone

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A15 | Gallery

.

Forum

Already made herself at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Nate Beeler cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Changing local election dates benefits Democrats

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

 
Ad-free email? You can still find it at Davis Community Network

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Keep our green waste piles

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
How to make a good living

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

City panel working to tighten scrutiny of taxpayer dollars

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Try round-robin storytelling at crafts fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Health problems mean he’s checked out

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

Marriage doesn’t mean we agree on everything

By Marion Franck | From Page: A14

 
This epidemic should scare us

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

.

Sports

Stanford scores early, often in opener versus UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
New coach, new tougher league for DHS football

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Coach likes what she sees from Devil field hockey squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD notebook: Coaches positive about FCS schools ‘playing up’

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils open with an impressive volleyball victory

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Aggie harriers secure season-opening sweep

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Cats win late to pull even with Aces

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Sutter Davis Hospital honored again as a ‘best place to work’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

 
Comings and Goings: Is fro-yo craze melting?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Engage3 attracts investment for shopping app

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A20

 
California growers can use MBI’s new bioinsecticide

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

Sudwerk, Davis Food Co-op join for ‘co-hop-eration’ brew

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20 | Gallery

 
Community pools its purchasing power to reduce the cost of solar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

.

Obituaries

Wanda P. Daley

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, August 31, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8