NY lawmakers OK protections for workplace religious attire


SURABAYA, INDONESIA – JUNE 17: A vendor prepares hijabs for sale during Ramadan on June 17, 2015 in Surabaya, Indonesia. Muslims worldwide observe Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is marked by a holy month of fasting, prayer, and recitation of the Quran. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers have approved legislation strengthening protections for religious attire in the workplace.

The bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday would clarify state anti-bias rules to prohibit employers from discriminating against workers because of clothing, head coverings or hair styles worn in accordance with their religion.

Supporters say the bill would address situations like one at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority several years ago in which Sikh and Muslim transit workers reported discrimination because of their head coverings.

A coalition of Sikh houses of worship urged lawmakers to approve the legislation, which they said sends a message about basic fairness.

The Democrat-led Senate passed a version of the bill that has passed the Assembly earlier this year, sending the measure to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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