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California employers w must provide reasonable accomodation for workers wearing turbans, beards and hijabs out in public View.
Blue, green, saffron, red, pink and black turbans crowded around Gov. Jerry Brown on the north steps of the Capitol on Saturday when he signed two bills designed to battle anti-Sikh discrimination.
"Breaking down prejudice is something you've got to do every day, and to help us do that, I'm going to sign a couple of bills," Brown told an enthusiastic crowd of 500 Sikhs from as far away as Texas and Colorado. "Sikhs everywhere can see in California they are a powerful presence."
The Workplace Religious Freedom Act, Assembly Bill 1964 by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, ensures that employees receive equal protection under law, protecting workers who wear turbans, hijabs and yarmulkes. In California, employers faced over 500 cases of religious discrimination in 2011.
Brown declined to wear a turban, saying, "I've worked hard to get my head cleared," but honored the thousands of Sikhs who have given their lives in a long history of struggle for religious freedom both in India and the United States.
Brown also signed Senate Bill 1540, sponsored by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, changing how history and social sciences are taught in schools so that students learn about the history, tradition and theology of California Sikhs.
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