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Assembly Passes Weprin's Religious Garb Bill

Legislation would prevent discrimination in the workplace against religious attire or facial grooming.

The state Assembly has passed legislation sponsored by Assemblyman David Weprin, D-Fresh Meadows, that prohibits workplace discrimination against attire worn for religious purposes.

Weprin said the bill was a response to a series of cases throughout the state during which employees were discriminated against at work due to their religious garb or facial grooming.

“People should not have to make a choice between working to provide for their families or observing their religion,” the assemblyman said. “It is unacceptable that workers have faced discrimination for wearing their religious attire or facial hair because it is an infringement on their civil liberties.”

He said the bill would allow for persons to wear hijabs, turbans, kippahs and beards at their workplaces without fear of persecution.

The legislation passed by a vote of 112-1 on Jan. 14.

“We enthusiastically support the religious garb bill calling for equal employment opportunities for all New Yorkers, regardless of religious attire and facial grooming,” said Rabbi Israel Rubin, who is the regional director of Chabad of the Capital District. “This religious observance issue confronts many Orthodox Jewish New Yorkers, who ought to be protected against discrimination at their worksites.” 

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