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Attorney General James warns Jewish communities to be cautious of discriminatory practices ahead of Passover


Thu, Apr 11th 2024 09:30 pm

AG’s office has received complaints about businesses raising prices of car cleaning services and other services for Passover

Submitted by the Office of New York Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James has issued a consumer alert urging New Yorkers to be careful of potential discriminatory pricing practices at car washes in the days leading up to Passover – and warning businesses that this practice is illegal.

This year and in previous years, there have been reports of car wash businesses in predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities in New York City and the Hudson Valley raising prices for Jewish customers seeking cleaning services close to Passover. In the days leading up to Passover, many Jews clean their homes, cars and other spaces to remove “chametz” (leavened products). According to reports provided to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), some companies have advertised “specials” for car washing services related to Passover, but instead, charged higher prices to Jewish customers. Under New York law, it is illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of religion. 

“New York has zero tolerance for antisemitism and discrimination of any kind,” James said. “Passover is an important holiday for millions of Jews in New York and beyond, and it is illegal and discriminatory to take advantage of a religious holiday to charge more for a service. We will not hesitate to take action against any business that engages in such offensive behavior, and I urge anyone who has been a victim of this discrimination to contact my office immediately.” 

Anyone who is aware of businesses using discriminatory practices or who believes they were charged more for services because of their religion, race or background is encouraged to file a complaint online or call 1-800-771-7755.

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