A Sikh American mail deliveryman who claimed segregation has taken on Walt Disney World - and won.
Gurdit Singh accused the world-famous amusement park of giving him restricted mail routes for the past seven years so visitors wouldn't see his turban and unshaved beard.
This week it was announced that Mr Singh has won the right to have the same routes as other delivery workers.
Walt Disney World Resort issued a letter last month saying that Gurdit Singh would be granted a religious accommodation from Disney's strict grooming guidelines, known as 'The Disney Look.'
The Disney Look requires workers to have neatly cut hair, no unnatural hair colors and no visible tattoos.
The company only started allowing workers to grow beards in 2012, but the beards have to be neatly trimmed.
Disney attorney Armando Rodriguez-Feo says the company is devoted to diversity.
Disney sent the letter after being threatened with legal action by the ACLU and The Sikh Coalition.
Only last month, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who didn't get hired by Abercrombie & Fitch after showing up wearing a religious headscarf, also known as a hijab.
‘The court made clear that companies can't just turn a blind eye to employees who need accommodating,’ Heather Weaver, an ACLU attorney who represented Singh, said Friday.
Happiest place of Earth: Walt Disney World Resort has given Mr Singh a religious exemption for the company's strict grooming guidelines
They've got the 'Look': The Disney Look requires cast members and other staffers to have neatly cut hair, no unnatural hair colors and no visible tattoos. Pictured on the left is singer Ariana Grande posing with Cinderella and Prince Charming. The image on the right depicts Disney's Beauty and the Beast character Gaston7
‘The Walt Disney World Resort responds positively to requests for reasonable religious accommodations that do not create an undue hardship for the company,’ Rodriguez-Feo said.
Singh had been denied career advancements and been segregated from co-workers because he was limited to a single route outside the view of Disney guests, according to a letter Singh's attorneys sent top Disney CEO Robert Iger and other Disney executives.
Singh is made to feel ‘singled-out, humiliated, and ashamed because of the way he looks and what he believes,’ the letter said.
According to Gurjot Raur, Singh's lawyer from the Sikh Coalition, the Disney postal worker had applied to be a doorman interacting directly with guests but was denied that job and told that his 'costume' did not match Disney's 'costume,' reported WPTV.
The Disney Look has previously clashed with the religious garb of its workers.
A Muslim employee who had worked at a cafe at Disney's California Adventured sued the company in 2012 for religious discrimination when she says she was denied the right to wear a hijab.
Singh, pictured with his wife at a relative's wedding, claimed that he had been denied career advancements and been segregated from co-workers because he was limited to a single route
Imane Boudlal claimed her managers told her she could either work in a back area where she wouldn't be seen by guests or wear a fedora on top of the hijab. She said she was fired when she refused. The lawsuit was eventually settled, Weaver said.
According to the company's career Web site, The Disney Look is ‘a classic look that is clean, natural, polished and professional, and avoids “cutting edge” trends or extreme styles.’
The ACLU and The Sikh Coalition in the letter to Iger had asked for revisions to The Disney Look to accommodate religion. Weaver said they have interpreted Rodriguez-Feo's letter as an acknowledgment that The Disney Look must give way to religious accommodation in certain.
Gurdit Signh released a statement Friday thanking the Sikh Coalition and the ACLU for fighting to restore his 'dignity' and 'basic rights' to practice the Sikh faith freely in the workplace.
'No one should have to face daily humiliation because of his or her religious beliefs,' Mr Singh said.