Maryland's Human Relations Commission has charged Domino's Pizza with religious discrimination for refusing to hire a Sikh whose religious beliefs prevent him from shaving.
The man, Prabhjot Kohli, of Catonsville, said he was denied a job as a Domino's manager because he refused to shave his beard. The Sikh religion, a sect of Hinduism that has roots in northern India, prohibits followers from cutting their body hair.
In a complaint filed with the state administrative hearing examiner, the commission said it was using the case to challenge Domino's nationwide policy that requires employees at all franchises to be clean-shaven.
But a spokesman for Domino's said the complaint had nothing to do with religion, and said that other company jobs that did not involve contact with the public were available for Kohli.
Kohli knew the dress code requirements when he applied for the job, and said he was not willing to work weekends and nights as the position required, said Herb James, personnel director for the local Dominos's franchise that conducted the interview.
Last week, a state administrative law judge sided with the Human Relations Commission and ordered the University of Maryland to reinstate a campus officer who would not shave his beard because of a skin condition.