Press Release: “Council Member David Wepring and Sikh Coalition Organize City Council Hearing on City Uniform Anti-Discrimination Act the Law of New York City”

November 17, 2005

Source: Sikh Coalition

On November 17, 2005 a Sikh Coalition Press Report stated, "Council Member David I. Weprin (D-Hollis), Chair of the Council Finance Committee, hosted a press conference today with the Sikh Coalition and many other organizations. The press conference took place prior to the first hearing on Int. 577, the Uniformed Agency Anti-Discrimination bill. The bill, drafted by the Sikh Coalition, seeks to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to precluding 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. Employee uniform policies have been a source of debate in New York City government agencies. Two Sikh New York City Police Department ('NYPD') officers were fired in 2001 by the NYPD because they refused to remove their religiously-mandated turbans. The New York City Transit Authority ('TA') presently requires its Sikh and Muslim employees to brand their religious headdress with the Transit Authority’s corporate logo in order to maintain their current employment titles. The TA had initially demanded that its Sikh and Muslim employees remove their religious headdress entirely... At the hearing following the press conference, the TA employees who were victims of religious discrimination, led Council Member David Weprin and the Sikh Coalition, testified that they worked for decades without being required to wear a TA logo on their religious headdress... Amardeep Singh, Legal Director of the Sikh Coalition [said], 'New York City is the world’s capital. Our city agencies should have uniform policies that reflect the city’s diversity rather than rejecting it. We welcome a bill that will require city agencies to evaluate employees on their ability to do their job, rather than their religious headdress.'”