The NYC Human Rights commission and 7 Hasidic store owners in Williamsburg settled Tuesday the lawsuit, in which the City attempted to raise the fines against the Williamsburg shop owners from a collective $2,500 dollars to a whopping $75,000 Dollars, for alleged discrimination.
The commission decided to withdraw the lawsuit Tuesday after the city and representatives from the stores came to an agreement that if they were to post new signs in their windows, they would note that while modest dress is appreciated, all individuals are welcome to enter the stores free from discrimination.
NYC Human Rights Commissioner Patricia L. Gatling issued the following statement to YWN:
“Today, the NYC Commission on Human Rights settled the cases it had filed in August 2012 against seven businesses on Lee Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn based on gender and religious discrimination — the posting of signs in the store windows that discriminated against women,” said NYC Human Rights Commissioner Patricia L. Gatling. “The NYC Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, such as stores, and the posting of advertisements that express a preference or limitation based on a membership in a protected class. Pursuant to the proposed agreement, representatives from the stores agreed that if they were to post new signs in their windows, they would say that while modest dress is appreciated, all individuals are welcome to enter the stores free from discrimination. The Commission is satisfied that the store owners understand their obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law – the nation’s strongest civil rights law that protects those who live, work in or visit New York City from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. “
Mayor Bill de Blasio did not comment on the issue at a press conference in the blue room at City Hall this morning, since the facts were not known to him at the time. But he did say, “We want to respect every community in everything we do.”
Nonetheless, the mayor added, “We also have laws that we are here to uphold.”
(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)