New York City Drops RIghts Suit Over Hasidic Dress Code Stores

Human Rights Agency Settles With Brooklyn Shops


By JTA

Published January 22, 2014.
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New York City has dropped a lawsuit against Hasidic-owned stores that posted a dress code for shoppers.

The New York City Human Rights Commission reached a settlement with the seven Hasidic-owned shops in a lawsuit the city had filed alleging that the stores’ posted dress codes implied gender and religious discrimination, according to the New York Daily News.

The signs in the shops along Lee Avenue in the heart of the Satmar-dominated neighborhood read: “No shorts, no barefoot, no sleeveless, no low-cut neckline allowed in this store,” according to the New York Times.

“What’s good for Manhattan is good for Williamsburg also,” Rabbi David Niederman, President of the United Jewish Organizations, told the Daily News. “We’re very happy that the small businesses cannot be tortured anymore.”

He called the commission’s request for potential fines from $2,500 to $75,000 “an audacity and chutzpah,” according to the paper.

On Tuesday, the day before a trial was to begin, the city dropped the fines it had proposed and the shop owners agreed that any future signs requesting modest attire would indicate that all people are welcome.

Attorneys for the stores, located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, argued that the modesty codes are no different than dress codes in upscale establishments.


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