Assembly Passes Religious Garb Bill to Prevent Workplace Discrimination

Albany, New York – The State Assembly has passed legislation sponsored by Assemblyman David Weprin (A4977) to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of religious attire, clothing or facial hair. Today’s 117-6 vote marks the fourth time that the bill has advanced in the Assembly since 2014, only to be denied a floor vote in the Majority-controlled State Senate each year.

A4977 adds language to the New York State Human Rights Law to clarify that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to require a person to violate or forego the wearing of attire, clothing, or facial hair in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion unless the employer demonstrates that it is unable to reasonably accommodate the person's religious practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer's business.

"With hate crimes rising in 2017, it is more important than ever that we stand together with our fellow Americans of faith," said Assemblyman David Weprin. "I feel that those who choose to wear an article of faith should never be discriminated against and should never have to choose between their profession and their religious beliefs. As such, I am proud to stand with all Americans of faith, regardless of their choice to wear a hijab, kippah, turban or cross."