State legislation would ban discrimination based on religious attire

GAC 2017 Capitol

The New York state Senate recently passed a bill protecting the right of workers to wear religious attire, including head coverings, in the workplace.

The bill, S.4037, adds language to state law prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of religion to explicitly include “the wearing of any attire, clothing, or facial hair in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion.” The bill was introduced by Sen. John C. Liu, D-Metropolitan, and had twelve co-sponsors.

The legislation has the backing of religious advocacy groups, which say the measure will protect workers who wear head coverings, though the protections would extend to other types of religious garb as well.

With the Assembly passing the measure earlier this year, the Senate’s 60-0 vote sends the legislation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, where it’s expected to be signed into law.

With the expectation that the bill will become law, credit unions are encouraged to review their dress code policies. Those who have questions about the legislation, their dress code or employee/HR matters can contact Chris Pajak, the Association’s director of member relations, at or (800) 342-9834, ext. 8188.

The New York Credit Union Association will continue to monitor the legislation.

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