New law bans employment discrimination based on religious attire or facial hair

August 09, 2019 07:25 PM

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday banned employment discrimination based on religious attire or facial hair. The new law will amend a current New York State Human Rights law.

The law, also more commonly known as the "Religious Garb Bill," has been pending for decades. This means employers can no longer refuse to hire, attain, promote, or take any kind of discriminatory action against an employee based on their religion.


Currently under the State's Human Rights Law, an employer is prohibited from treating an employee differently because of their religion.

Following the announcement, NewsChannel 13 spoke with several members of religious communities from around the region - all of them calling this bill a monumental moment for human rights across the state.

Dr. Paul Uppal of the Guru Nanak Darbar of Albany says the legislation has been in the works since 9/11. He says he believes it will help improve the confidence for anyone seeking religious freedoms.

Uppal says for more than a decade, he's rallied at the Capitol to help lawmakers understand why this bill is necessary.

"I think it means for us an affirmation that we indeed have religious freedom," said Uppal.

Gov. Cuomo also saying this law makes it "crystal clear to anyone who still may have doubts that New York has zero tolerance for bigotry of any kind."


Brooke Selby

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