If you have a beard or specific attire due to your religious beliefs, employers can no longer refuse to hire you or discriminate against you because of that. Gov. Cuomo signed this idea into law on Friday and here's some of what he had to say:

As New Yorkers we celebrate our diversity and we champion freedom of religious expression in all places, including the workplace. This law will protect people from discriminatory employment practices based on religious attire or facial hair.

This seems like a good law on the surface, but I can see room for abuse and where does legislation like this stop? People could theoretically claim religious exemptions (in a non-legitimate way) simply based on their personal preferences and then employers will no longer be able to make choices about how their people present themselves and represent their company. Hopefully, the law allows for employers to require people to corroborate their claims, otherwise the potential for chaos could be endless.

For example: the military has a shaving rule across the board (and does allow waivers for religious expemption) but there are some jobs where beards or other religious attire can prove problematic, like pilots. They have to shave in order that the oxygen mask fits securely and need to wear nomex flight suits in case of fire. So, is the AF or any other employer allowed to discriminate on the grounds of safety or decorum? Something to talk about...

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