Racially harassed NRI student receives compensation in New Zealand

A New Zealand Human Rights Tribunal has awarded Sikh student Satnam Singh 45,000 dollars in damages for racial harassment, humiliation and physical assault he suffered at the hands of his Indian origin employers at Scorpion Liquor in a suburban area in Auckland.

Singh was paid less than minimum wage by the store manager Shane Singh and his mother Raj Devi who owns the business. During his two months at the store Shane Singh frequently made racial remarks and commented about Singh’s long hair. On one occasion in 2012 he hit the student on the head with a clipboard, knocking off his turban. He told the lad that if he ever saw him again he would lose his turban and his teeth. Satnam did not return to the store after the incident.

Satnam told the tribunal he was afraid Shane Singh and his friends would attack him so he cut his hair and beard and hid his turban under a hat to avoid abuse.

Apart from the compensation the Tribunal also ordered the defendants to undergo training in their responsibilities under the Human Rights Act, pay 3,750 dollars in legal costs, and imposed a restraining order to prevent Shane Singh continuing the abuse. In a separate decision by the Employment Relations Authority, Scorpion Liquor was ordered to pay Satnam wage arrears of 3,417 dollars plus interest at 5 percent and a penalty of 1000 dollars.

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