Press Releases

CAIR-NY Files Complaint Against New York DMV Over Muslim Employee’s Right to Pray

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 10/21/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced the filing of a discrimination complaint against the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for allegedly denying Friday prayer accommodations for a Muslim employee. 

[NOTE: Friday is the day of congregational prayers for Muslims.]

According to the complaint, the Muslim employee was hired in January 2019 and provided with an accommodation to attend Friday prayers. Starting in May 2019, the accommodation expired, and the DMV reportedly denied repeated requests to attend weekly religious services. The employee was also denied a request to change his work hours during Ramadan, holy month of fasting for Muslims.

SEE: Muslim employee claims discrimination by New York DMV over Friday prayers


“The Department of Motor Vehicle’s failure to grant our client an accommodation to attend his religiously-mandated congregational prayers is inexcusable and a clear violation of the New York State Human Rights Law,” said CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed. “When our client was hired, he was provided the accommodation for three months, and he was able to do his job without any hardship to the DMV. Without explanation, the DMV arbitrarily decided that our client was no longer permitted to have a reasonable accommodation to observe his religious practices.”

He noted that CAIR-NY regularly deals with discrimination in public accommodations and workplace.

Last week, CAIR-NY filed a public accommodations discrimination complaint on behalf of three Muslim families denied boarded by NYC Ferry.

SEE: 3 Muslim families claim NYC Ferry denied them access, citing ‘security issue,’ complaint says

Prior, CAIR-NY filed a federal discrimination complaint against International Design Services, Inc. (IDS) for “terrorizing” and retaliating against a Muslim employee.

SEE Press Release and Discrimination Complaint Against IDS

New Yorkers may also contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at or call 646.665.7599

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos. 


CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed,, 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher,, 917-669-4006

Share on facebook
Share on twitter