NEW YORK (JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish paramedic is suing a New York hospital for discrimination for not allowing her to wear skirts.
In the civil suit filed Tuesday, Hadas Goldfarb says she was offered a job as a paramedic at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2015, but was terminated amid orientation after refusing to comply with the dress code, which stipulates that paramedics wear pants. The 26-year-old Brooklyn resident alleges in a complaint that her “termination was unlawful retaliation for her refusing to compromise her religious principles.”
Goldfarb only wears skirts, a practice common among Orthodox Jewish women who follow strict rules dictating personal dress. She says she has done so while working as a paramedic for other employers.
The lawsuit alleges that the hospital failed to provide her with reasonable accommodation for her religious observance and that doing so is discriminatory and illegal.
Goldfarb said she was surprised by the hospital’s response to her request to wear a skirt.
“I’ve been an EMS for a while and I haven’t had a problem — I just wasn’t expecting it to be an issue,” she told JTA.