Monday, August 03, 2015

Orthodox Jewish Tenants Sue Over Electronic Keys In Building Renovations

The New York Daily News reports on a class action religious discrimination lawsuit filed in federal district court in New York last month by Orthodox Jewish tenants in LeFrak City, a 20-building housing complex in Queens.  The case is Ibragimov v. Lefrak Organization, Inc., (ED NY, filed 7/23/2015).  The Fair Housing Act suit claims that an electronic key system that has been installed in the renovations of the buildings creates Sabbath observance problems. The change means that  Orthodox Jews who will not create or break an electrical circuit on the Sabbath have to wait outside until someone else is entering the building. The lawsuit seeks to require installation of one door in each building that opens with a conventional key and also the installation of a chip that allows an elevator in each building to operate as a Sabbath elevator-- stopping automatically at every floor without riders needing to press buttons.