Earlier, the news has been viral all over the news portals that Toronto has made a rule of ‘No Beard’. And due to this rule, more than 100 Sikhs have been fired from their jobs. But now the city of Toronto has issued an apology for the same.
The City of Toronto issued a formal apology to the World Sikh Association over the ‘no-beard’ policy, which led to furore among the Sikh community in Canada. In its revised regulation, the City of Toronto stated that it will tolerate "under-mask beard covers" in order to accommodate anyone for whom growing a beard is a requirement of their faith.
“Effective Tuesday, the City of Toronto said that it will immediately permit “under-mask beard covers” as a reasonable accommodation option for individuals who maintain facial hair as a tenet of their faith and are required to be present at City sites with protective N95 respirator requirements,” the statement said.
It instructed contracted security service providers to rehire any person who may have been fired as a result of the prior decision and to grant any religious exemptions requested by Sikh security guard employees. Essentially, 'under-mask beard covers' are tight-fitting covers over the head, as well as chin and cheeks, over which the N95 mask can be worn.
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"The technique, also known as Singh Thattha Method, is used by many Sikh people in the medical community and has been found to be highly effective in respirator-fit testing," city officials said.
Toronto has also directed security service providers to follow its new order. "... abide by all human rights legislation and require contractors to also comply... will not accept any contractors failing to accommodate religious freedoms," an official statement said.
The Sikh group's counsel, Balpreet Singh, told the news portal, "I'm glad the city has finally arrived with a solution that works for these Sikh security guards... a little bit disappointed it took this long."