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New NY law prohibits employee discrimination on religious attire, facial hair

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(AP Photos/Laurent Rebours/Wilson Ring)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed new legislation Friday that prohibits employee discrimination based on religious attire or facial hair.

The new law amends the New York State Human Rights Law to make clear that employers cannot refuse to hire, attain, promote, or take other discriminatory action against an individual for wearing attire or facial hair in accordance with tenets of their religion. 

“As New Yorkers we celebrate our diversity and we champion freedom of religious expression in all places, including the workplace,” Cuomo said in a press release. “This law will protect people from discriminatory employment practices based on religious attire or facial hair and makes it crystal clear to anyone who may still have doubts that New York has zero tolerance for bigotry of any kind.”  

“Today, New York expressly prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of religious attire and appearance,” said State Sen. John Liu in a press release. “In these divisive times, New York must lead in protecting religious expression and eradicating bigotry and intolerance.”

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