Orthodox Jews Can't Use Electric Locks on Religious Holidays
LVT Number: 9114
Tenants sued landlord for discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. They claimed that landlord's installation of electric locks on the entrance doors discriminated against them because, as Orthodox Jews, they aren't permitted to operate electrical devices on the Sabbath or religious holidays. At those times, tenants had to wait for another tenant or visitor to open the doors for them. The court ruled that tenants had a valid case, and landlord appealed. The appeals court dismissed the case. Landlord didn't intend to discriminate against tenants based on their religion---it had installed new locks to improve building security. Plus, tenants were only slightly inconvenienced by the new lock design because it only affected them for short periods of time.
Siegel v. Blair Hall, Inc.: NYLJ, p. 24, col. 4 (9/2/94) (App. Div. 2 Dept.; Rosenblatt, JP, Ritter, Copertino, Joy, JJ)