100 Sikh security guards lost their jobs for not being clean-shaven as required by Toronto's mask rules

100 Sikh security guards lost their jobs for not being clean-shaven as required by Toronto's mask rules

Photo for representation only. Source: iStock.

Tribune Web Desk

Chandigarh, July 5

As many as 100 Sikh security guards have lost their jobs because of Toronto’s mask mandate. The rules required them to be clean-shaven.

The World Sikh Organisation (WSO) has urged the city administration to change it rules.

Meanwhile, Punjab minister Harjot Singh Bains tweeted: "Beard and Moustaches are identity of a Sikh and of upmost value to his faith. Urge @cityoftoronto to rollback the decision which is against the faith of Sikhs, as it has hurt sentiments of Sikhs worldwide."

According to CBC News, the city has been mandating that security guards wear N95 masks while on the job at settings such as homeless shelters since January.

The city confirmed that employees working within the Shelter, Support, and Housing Administration (SSHA) department must wear N95 masks at all times and be clean-shaven so that the masks provide effective protection against Covid-19.

In Sikhism, ‘kesh’ is the practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally out of respect for the perfection of God's creation and it is a vital part of their faith.

In an email statement, the City of Toronto said, “It’s aware of the WSO’s complaint and said all of the workers affected are employed by contractors and not its own corporate security division.”

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