NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg, Brooklyn adhere to a strict dress code that makes them easily identifiable. Now some business owners may be trying to force that dress code on everybody who visits their store or restaurant, according to some residents.
“Basically when they’re coming into this area, this community, they should be dressed the way we would like. It’s not that they have to go exactly like us but they should be dressed the minimum as we want them,” said Shlome Fuchs.
Their main concern is making sure that children are not exposed to women dressed like Williamsburg native Millie Negron, who told CBS 2′s Don Dahler that she disagrees with the dress code.
“We’ve been doing this for years, we can go into their store however we want,” she said.
So where do the rights of the customer end and the rights of the business owner begin?
“I do think the owner of the store essentially has the right to have their own beliefs in their store and code. I think that will take away from business,” said Yoav Menachem.
But store managers on Division Avenue did not seem to be bothered by the prospect of losing business over a dress code.
“Even if someone not religious comes in they should respect this,” said Ronald Kaplan.
In 2009 Williamsburg residents successfully lobbied the city to remove bike lanes because they did not want to see young women in riding shorts.
The head of the City law Department’s Administrative Law Division said that the dress code is legal as long as it does not discriminate based on gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
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