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Monday, November 21, 2005

Update: New York Religious Garb Bill

The New York Daily News reported on the testimony regarding a Religious Garb Bill drafted by the Sikh Coalition. The bill seeks to amend the New York administrative code and, if passed, would prevent "all uniformed city agencies from mandating that their employees comply with a uniform code that would require such person to violate or forego a practice of his or her creed or religion" [see previous post here].

According to Frank Lombardi of the NY Daily News:
Testifying at a hearing on the bill, mayoral special counsel Anthony Crowell argued that the bill "goes too far" because it doesn't include a review process for ensuring the safety of the worker, coworkers and the public.

Dozens of Sikhs listened politely as Crowell eviscerated the bill, and some respectfully applauded when he finished reading his testimony.

But a parade of Sikh witnesses was firm in supporting the measure, including Amric Singh Rathour, who said he was fired as a police traffic enforcement agent for insisting on wearing his turban.

"It seems wrong that a person like me, who was born and raised in Queens, could not direct traffic in Queens because I wear a turban," said Rathour, who was reinstated in a settlement of his federal suit last year.

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