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Orthodox Jewish paramedic sues NY hospital over its no-skirts policy

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 243 Replies
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.

Following her termination, Goldfarb filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and in February, she received a notice of right to sue.

The lawsuit, which was filed with Kings County Supreme Court, alleges that the hospital failed to provide her with reasonable accommodation for her religious observance and that doing so is discriminatory and illegal. Along with New York Presbyterian Hospital, the City of New York is named in the suit; its Fire Department works with the hospital on emergency response.

Goldfarb is suing for damages, the reinstatement of her position, and an order enjoining the hospital and the city to stop denying requests for accommodation in relation to the pants policy.

The hospital did not return requests for comment by JTA.

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.

She has since found a job as a paramedic for an emergency telemedicine company, which does not take issue with her style of dress.

Her lawyer, Joseph Aron, told JTA that he was confident in his client’s case, citing previous cases in which U.S. courts ruled in favor of plaintiffs suing for the right to wear head coverings or style their facial hair in ways contrary to employer dress codes.

“We’re definitely confident that the law is on our side,” said Aron, who specializes in employment law and discrimination.

The case resonates personally with Aron, an Orthodox father of three young girls.

“[W]hen they grow up, and they get a job with something that they are passionate about, they shouldn’t have to make sacrifices in a scenario where the job could be done as is how they are accustomed to dressing, [and] it doesn’t injure their ability to perform,” he said, referring to his daughters.



What do you think? Does he have a good shot at winning?
Posted by Anonymous on May. 26, 2017 at 10:36 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on May. 26, 2017 at 10:43 AM
Orthodox Jews, especially the Hasidics, have such a hold over NYC that I can see her winning or the hospital settling out of court in fear of being labeled anti-Semitic.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on May. 26, 2017 at 10:45 AM
😕

Quoting Anonymous 2: Orthodox Jews, especially the Hasidics, have such a hold over NYC that I can see her winning or the hospital settling out of court in fear of being labeled anti-Semitic.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on May. 26, 2017 at 10:47 AM
I mean, it's part of her religion to wear what she does, and it's illegal to discriminate against religion in the work place....so yeah, she probably has a good shot at winning.
susannah2000
by Emerald Member on May. 26, 2017 at 10:50 AM
3 moms liked this

I haven't heard that Orthodox Jewish women can't wear pants, but this article is not specifying whether she is Hasidic, which I don't know about. I just know that Orthodox have to dress modestly. However, she needs to follow hospital policy, which I presume she knew upon being hired. I certainly don't know how a paramedic, who has to rescue people in every situation, and in every location, could wear a dress.

Piskie
by Gold Member on May. 26, 2017 at 10:51 AM
It depends on how the skirt affects her ability to do the job. Could it be a hindrance while she's active?

It's something I'm glad the courts are hearing and I don't know enough about thework environment to make that choice.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on May. 26, 2017 at 10:53 AM
4 moms liked this

No, How do you jump in and out of an ambulance and run to save someone in a long skirt? Her refusal to wear pants in order to do her job quickly and efficiently may cost someone their life in an emergency.

susannah2000
by Emerald Member on May. 26, 2017 at 10:53 AM
3 moms liked this


Quoting Anonymous 4: I mean, it's part of her religion to wear what she does, and it's illegal to discriminate against religion in the work place....so yeah, she probably has a good shot at winning.

If that is true, how have I seen many Orthodox women wearing pants? It clearly is not written in stone that this is what they must wear. It really bugs when people take jobs knowing what the policies are, and then think the policies don't apply to them, and sue.

ResidentRedhead
by Platinum Member on May. 26, 2017 at 10:54 AM
4 moms liked this
All I know is, if my paramedic couldn't do her job because her skirt hindered her ability to do her job, and it would at times, I would sue the shit out of that fucking hospital.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on May. 26, 2017 at 10:55 AM
1 mom liked this

It could hinder her ability to do her job quickly and efficiently by wearing a long skirt on an Ambulance and cost someone their life.

Quoting Anonymous 4: I mean, it's part of her religion to wear what she does, and it's illegal to discriminate against religion in the work place....so yeah, she probably has a good shot at winning.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 6 on May. 26, 2017 at 10:56 AM

Agree

Quoting Anonymous 2: Orthodox Jews, especially the Hasidics, have such a hold over NYC that I can see her winning or the hospital settling out of court in fear of being labeled anti-Semitic.


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