Written by Don Byrd

Last week, the New York General Assembly passed by an overwhelming margin legislation that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of an employee’s religious attire and appearance. The “Religious Garb Bill” has passed every year since 2013. So what’s different this year? As QNS reports, new leaders in the Senate means the legislation is finally expected to pass there as well.

“With hate crimes on the rise, we must make it clear that New York will not tolerate any form of discrimination against people of faith,” [Assemblyman David] Weprin said. “This legislation would ensure that no one is ever forced to choose between adhering to their religious beliefs and earning a living.”

Weprin first introduced the bill in 2011 and it has passed in the assembly every year since 2013. This year, [Senator John] Liu confirmed that he will be carrying the bill in the Senate, which is expected to pass this year due to a change in Senate leadership.

Protecting employees’ religious attire where possible is an important step toward ensuring religious freedom in the workplace. The bill does allow that businesses may bar religious attire if necessary to avoid “undue hardship.”