NEW YORK (Sep. 24)
The City Human Rights Commission announced yesterday that a Hassidic Jew from Brooklyn had probably been discriminated against by the RCA Global Communications Corp. when it refused to hire him allegedly because he is a Sabbath observer. Commission chairman Simeon Golar said that probable cause had been found in the complaint by Solomon Roth that he would have been hired as an electronics Technician trainee if he had not insisted on time off on week-ends to observe the Sabbath. If the company is found guilty of discrimination, the commission can order that the complainant be hired and possibly could exact compensatory damages for outrage and humiliation suffered, Mr. Golar said.
“Humiliation, outrage and mental anguish” resulting from a discriminatory act was the basis for a $1,000 fine that the Human Rights Commission imposed yesterday on a cooperative apartment house and its real estate agency which refused to permit a Long Island lawyer to sub-lease an apartment allegedly because he is Jewish.
The complaint by William Meyers, of Roslyn, was brought against the fashionable cooperative at 133 East 80th St. and its managing agents, Brown, Harris, Stevens, Inc, Hearings were held last June by Commissioners Melvin L. Arnold and Gilbert Colgate, Jr., who noted in their findings yesterday that “the evidence indicates that no Jews reside in the subject building” and “the complainant was the only applicant ever rejected.” A commission spokesman said the $1,000 fine was the highest ever levied by the body. It was the first judgment against a cooperative since the city’s open housing law was strengthened in 1965.
In the case of the Brooklyn Sabbath observer, the commission noted that when Mr. Roth applied for the position, he offered to work Saturday nights or other nights to make up for the time he took off for religious reasons. He charged that he was told the company could not use him on that basis. Mr. Golar said that the guidelines on religious discrimination adopted by the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission two years ago required employers “to make reasonable accommodations to the religious needs of employes and prospective employes where such accommodation can be made without undue hardship in the employer’s business.” Undue hardship must be proven by the employer. Mr. Golar said that the Federal guidelines correspond to the letter and spirit of the city’s law against job discrimination on religious grounds.