NEW YORK CITY — A New York city council member has proposed a bill that would ban the “religious freedom” of companies that don’t allow Muslim women to wear full-face veils in their workplaces, according to a draft of the proposal obtained by The Associated Press.
The legislation, which would not take effect until 2020, is the latest in a series of moves by the New York mayor and others to rein in companies that do not comply with the city’s new Muslim ban, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump in January.
The New York Assembly is expected to take up the measure later this week.
The bill would require companies with at least 500 employees to disclose if they do not allow women to cover their faces in their workplace.
The city has the most companies in the country with at most 1,000 employees.
“The law is designed to protect our employees, to protect New Yorkers from discrimination, and to ensure that employers can continue to operate under a safe environment,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
“The New Yorker has long been an American icon and a beacon of freedom for all people.
This law is a commonsense step that recognizes the value of diversity and is designed with New Yorkers in mind.”
The proposed law, which could be a precursor to a similar one in other U.S. cities, is being promoted by the mayor’s office and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The proposal would also allow New York employers to choose whether or not to cover employees’ faces with face coverings, but would not ban the use of face coverages by people who are religious or for those who are transgender.
It is unclear how the bill will be enforced.
It would be up to employers to determine whether employees are required to cover faces or not, and if they are required by law.
The proposed ban would apply to businesses with 50 or more employees and would require the city to collect data on the number of employees wearing face coverades, the number who are Muslim and the number using Muslim-only dress.