A California judge has ordered a fitness centre to pay damages to a Sikh man after the firm denied him a job on religious and ethnic grounds.
A federal judge Wednesday ordered Bally Total Fitness to pay $24,000 to Sukdev Singh Dhaliwal, who applied for a sales job with the fitness centre in 2004.
During the course of the interview Dhaliwal, who was born and raised in California, was asked about his religious and ethnic background and later denied the job.
"He was basically asked where he was born, where his parents were born, what religion he subscribed to and whether he was a Muslim," said US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) programme analyst Linda Li.
"He's very American."
After the hearing, Dhaliwal said he plans to donate some of the money to his alma mater, California State University, Fresno, where a business law professor urged him to lodge a complaint with the (EEOC) after hearing his case, the online edition of fresnobee reported.