Effective August 31, 2011, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) was amended by The Workplace Religious Freedom Act. An employer is not required to provide a religious accommodation to its New York City employees if doing so would pose "undue hardship." Such an employer has the burden of demonstrating:
"Undue Hardship" as used in this subdivision shall mean an accommodation requiring significant expense or difficulty (including a significant interference with the safe or efficient operation of the workplace or a violation of a bona fide seniority system). Factors to be considered in determining whether the accommodation constitutes an undue economic hardship shall include, but not be limited to:
- the identifiable cost of the accommodation, including the costs of loss of productivity and of retaining or hiring employees or transferring employees from one facility to another, in relation to the size and operating cost of the employer;
- the number of individuals who will need the particular accommodation to a sincerely held religious observance or practice, and
- for an employer with multiple facilities, the degree to which the geographic separateness or administrative or fiscal relationship of the facilities will make the accommodation more difficult or expensive.
New York City employers who violate The Workplace Religious Freedom Act are subject to a civil penalty of up to $125,000.