Prohibits discrimination against religious attire and appurtenances thereto, including facial hair.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to prohibiting discrimination against religious attire
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would clarify that the wearing of any attire, clothing, or facial hair in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion is protected under the Human Rights Law.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill would clarify that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to require a person to violate or forego the wearing 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.
Section two is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill is intended to protect the religious rights of all New Yorkers. An example of the need for this bill is a case in New York City where a member of the Sikh religion who worked for the MTA was ordered to remove his turban and wear the MTA hat. When he objected, on religious ground, the MTA responded that he may wear the turban if he affixes an MTA badge to the front. This was unacceptable as wearing a turban is a solemn religious duty for Sikhs and affixing a badge to it would not be religiously proper. This bill would ensure that persons like the gentleman described above will no longer be discriminated at their places of work because of their religious duties.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: none
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5828 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 17, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. SANDERS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to prohibiting discrimi- nation against religious attire THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 10 of section 296 of the exec- utive law, as amended by chapter 539 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows: (a) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer, or an employee or agent thereof, to impose upon a person as a condition of obtaining or retaining employment, including opportunities for promotion, advancement or transfers, any terms or conditions that would require such person to violate or forego a sincerely held practice of his or her religion, including but not limited to the observance of any particular day or days or any portion thereof as a sabbath or other holy day in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion OR THE WEARING OF ANY ATTIRE, CLOTHING, OR FACIAL HAIR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF HIS OR HER RELIGION, unless, after engaging in a bona fide effort, the employer demonstrates that it is unable to reasonably accommodate the employee's or prospective employee's sincerely held religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer's business. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an employee shall not be entitled to premium wages or premium benefits for work performed during hours to which such premium wages or premium benefits would ordinarily be applicable, if the employ- ee is working during such hours only as an accommodation to his or her sincerely held religious requirements. Nothing in this paragraph or paragraph (b) of this subdivision shall alter or abridge the rights granted to an employee concerning the payment of wages or privileges of seniority accruing to that employee. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03836-03-3