NEW YORK (Dec. 30)
The New York State Commission Against Discrimination has signed a stipulation agreeing to take no further action in the complaint against hiring practices of the Arabian American Oil Company pending a ruling on the issue by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, it was disclosed today.
At issue is a charge by the American Jewish Congress that ARAMCO refuses to hire Jews for either domestic or Saudi Arabian employment on orders of the Saudi Arabian Government. Supreme Court Justice Henry Epstein ruled last July that ARAMCO was not entitled to a bona fide occupational exemption from the state’s antidiscrimination laws on employment said ordered SCAD to enforce his ruling.
An ARAMCO spokesman said the company filed notice last October 26, of appeal from Justice Epstein’s ruling. He said that if the company’s appeal will be scheduled for a hearing during the March session of the Appellate Division, the company will file a required brief by February 4.
Henry Spitz, SCAD general counsel, said that by general agreement of the parties concerned, SCAD would not take any action until after 20 days following the ruling on the appeal. He said the stipulation to that effect was signed yesterday.
COMPANY DENIES ASKING RELIGION OF APPLICANTS
The ARAMCO spokesman flatly denied today to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the company has ever made a practice of asking all Job applicants to indicate their religion as a condition of employment. He said that under the ARAMCO agreement with Saudi Arabia, an applicant for a job in the company’s operations in Saudi Arabia is required to fill out a form provided by Saudi Arabia which doss inquire about his religion. He said application forms for domestic positions contain no requests for information about the applicant’s religion, race, ancestry or similar information and had never contained such questions.
Asked if there were any Jewish employees in the New York office, the spokesman replied that the company does not ask for such information and that he did not know.
A spokesman for the American Jewish Congress agreed that the record in the hearing before Justice Epstein indicated there were exceptions “for minor stenographic and clerical posts” from a company requirement for filing of Saudi Arabian visa applications by job applicants. The AJC spokesman added that the AJC contends that in actual hiring practices, ARAMCO ignores the exceptions.
The AJC spokesman said that the AJC had asked SCAD and the New York Attorney General to file briefs as friends of the court on behalf of the AJC for the Appellate Division hearing. Mr. Spitz said that the stipulation signed by SCAD covered that request. He explained that it is SCAD’s function to implement court decisions and that until the Appellate decision was made, the issue would remain unsettled.