Local News

Suit accuses convenience store chain of religious discrimination

Posted September 22, 2010 2:09 p.m. EDT

— A Wake County man has filed suit against the owners of the Family Fare convenience store chain, alleging that he was denied a managerial job because of his religious practices.

Surjit Singh Saund is seeking back pay, other compensatory and punitive damages and a court order requiring M.M. Fowler Inc. to hire him and accommodate his religious beliefs.

Saund alleges that he was twice turned down in 2008 for a job managing a Family Fare convenience store after company officials saw him wearing a turban and a beard. As a practicing Sikh, he told the officials that he isn't allowed to shave his beard and must keep his hair tied up in a turban, according to the suit.

Other Family Fare store managers have long hair or facial hair, the suit alleges, adding that, during interviews, company officials "made comments and gestures that were insulting and demeaning to Mr. Saund and his practice of wearing a turban."