City Hall Comes Out Against Anti-Bias Bill in New York

November 18, 2005

Source: New York Daily News

On November 18, 2005 the New York Daily News reported, "City Hall came out yesterday against a bill to protect city uniformed workers from being fired for wearing turbans or other religious garb. While it covers all religious groups, the City Council bill has special significance to Sikh men who grow distinctive beards and wear turbans as part of their religious beliefs. 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."