Hair covering and census worker ID card

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Post  Mon, Jun 15 2020, 5:34 am
So...I was supposed to start working for the census after Pesach, but that got pushed off, and they are just starting to get new hires paperwork finalized (at least in NY, don't know about the rest of the country).

I need to go for fingerprinting and to get a picture for an ID badge, but there's a line in the paperwork that concerns me. Here's the part of the rules that I'm concerned about - it says -


You should wear clothing normally worn on a daily basis.
*You cannot wear a hat or head covering.

*If you are unable to remove your glasses or hat or head covering for medical reasons, please bring a signed doctors statement to your visit. Please note that the Census Bureau will retain the statement and keep it on record during your employment with us.

So - nothing there about not removing a head covering for religious reasons. I could theoretically go with a wig, but I generally wear snoods and would wear one when doing census work, so if my ID badge has me in a wig, that wouldn't match up with how I'd look on the job anyway.

Has anyone dealt with this before? Are they normally understanding? I was trying to get an appointment time in a Jewish neighborhood (thinking they might be more familiar with the idea of head coverings), but that one's full.

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Post  Mon, Jun 15 2020, 5:52 am
No personal experience but I would wear a wig for pic and then do whatever when working. I think it will be fine. Good luck.
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Post  Mon, Jun 15 2020, 6:01 am
I wear a wig for passport pictures and I have never once flown in a wig. It's totally not a problem.
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Post  Mon, Jun 15 2020, 6:07 am
They don't often pay much attention to how you look on work ID cards.
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Post  Tue, Jun 16 2020, 4:51 pm
Religious hair coverings are covered by law, you cannot be asked to remove a religious head covering. Even for passport or DMV photos you can have your hair covered for religious reasons. My passport and license I'm wearing a tichel, I've had several jobs in a variety of fields and never even owned a wig until very recently.

ETA: source - https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guid.....ities

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e, et seq., as amended ("Title VII"),prohibits employers with at least 15 employees (including private sector, state, and local government employers), as well as employment agencies, unions, and federal government agencies, from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, relations, or national origin. It also prohibits retaliation against persons who complain of discrimination or participate in an EEO investigation. With respect to religion, Title VII prohibits among other things:

disparate treatment based on religion in recruitment, hiring, promotion, benefits, training, job duties, termination, or any other aspect of employment (except that "religious organizations" as defined under Title VII are permitted to prefer members of their own religion in deciding whom to employ);
denial of reasonable accommodation for sincerely held religious practices, unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship for the employer;
workplace or job segregation based on religion;
workplace harassment based on religion;
retaliation for requesting an accommodation (whether or not granted), for filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC, for testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an EEOC investigation or EEO proceeding, or for opposing discrimination.

Does the law apply to dress or grooming practices that are religious for an applicant or employee, even if other people engage in the same practice for non-religious reasons?

Yes. Title VII applies to any practice that is motivated by a religious belief, even if other people may engage in the same practice for secular reasons.[2] However, if a dress or grooming practice is a personal preference, for example, where it is worn for fashion rather than for religious reasons, it does not come under Title VII's religion protections.
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