Conductor: MTA discriminated by requesting proof he's Jewish to take off Rosh Hashanah

MTA conductor Benjamin Schaeffer says he's being asked to provide documentation proving he's Jewish to take the day off.

News 12 Staff

Sep 27, 2019, 11:54 PM

Updated 1,659 days ago

Share:

An MTA conductor claims the agency is discriminating against him by telling him he must prove he's Jewish in order to take off work for Rosh Hashanah.
MTA conductor Benjamin Schaeffer says he's being asked to provide documentation proving he's Jewish to take the day off. Schaeffer says he's worked for the MTA for 22 years and never had a prior problem getting the holiday off.
"This should never happen to anyone," says Schaeffer. "It's degrading, it's humiliating, it's uncalled for and I just can't see anyone ever having to be subjected to this. Not in New York City where we're the most diverse city, I think, in the world."
Schaeffer says he followed the MTA time-off policy and submitted paperwork for the day three weeks in advance but had his request denied. After contacting the Transport Workers Union, he says the MTA told him he could have the day off if he provided the documentation - but didn't specify what documentation was needed.
Since News 12's report, the MTA responded by saying, "We value and respect our employees' religious beliefs and make every effort to accommodate requests for time off. This request was received after all leave slots for this day and job title had been distributed, but the supervisor involved made an exception for Mr. Schaeffer and granted him the day off. This issue has been reviewed by NYC Transit supervision and no documentation will be requested in this case of Mr. Schaeffer."
Schaeffer says he wants to make sure this doesn't happen to other employees in the future.
 
 
 
 
 


More from News 12
1:17
Family celebrates life of daughter who was fatally struck by train

Family celebrates life of daughter who was fatally struck by train

0:51
Large portion of BQE closed due to repairs this weekend

Large portion of BQE closed due to repairs this weekend

2:01
Spotty showers and partly sunny weather for the weekend in NYC

Spotty showers and partly sunny weather for the weekend in NYC

2:06
East New York high school rebuilding its theater program

East New York high school rebuilding its theater program

1:46
Coney Island residents feeling uneasy after elderly woman struck by MTA bus

Coney Island residents feeling uneasy after elderly woman struck by MTA bus

0:50
NYPD commissioner: Officers who shot and killed Kawaski Trawick did not commit a crime

NYPD commissioner: Officers who shot and killed Kawaski Trawick did not commit a crime

1:17
Queens-bound BQE from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street to be closed this weekend

Queens-bound BQE from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street to be closed this weekend

1:55
Backroom Books turns Red Hook Brewery into bookstore

Backroom Books turns Red Hook Brewery into bookstore

1:46
Police: Man charged with murder in connection to human head, body parts found in Flatbush apartment

Police: Man charged with murder in connection to human head, body parts found in Flatbush apartment

0:38
Police: Uber driver attacked in attempted robbery in East New York; 4 suspects wanted

Police: Uber driver attacked in attempted robbery in East New York; 4 suspects wanted

0:45
13 men plead not guilty to role in Brooklyn synagogue tunnel scuffle

13 men plead not guilty to role in Brooklyn synagogue tunnel scuffle

Police: Shooting suspect used train to flee; 18-year-old injured in Flatbush

Police: Shooting suspect used train to flee; 18-year-old injured in Flatbush

1:00
NYPD: MTA bus strikes elderly woman in Coney Island

NYPD: MTA bus strikes elderly woman in Coney Island

2:15
'City of Yes' plan receiving mixed reviews from Bay Ridge business owners, community board

'City of Yes' plan receiving mixed reviews from Bay Ridge business owners, community board

1:43
One of largest Kosher pantries in Brooklyn gives out hundreds of pounds of Passover food

One of largest Kosher pantries in Brooklyn gives out hundreds of pounds of Passover food

1:48
Leaders and advocates demand Fare Free Bus program expand citywide

Leaders and advocates demand Fare Free Bus program expand citywide

0:33
Brooklyn lawyer arraigned in theft of nearly $4 million from clients

Brooklyn lawyer arraigned in theft of nearly $4 million from clients

1:53
Irth App asking providers to drop biases that Black mothers face in health care

Irth App asking providers to drop biases that Black mothers face in health care

1:46
‘It gives you a sense of purpose’: Veterans graduate from training program at Evergreens Cemetery

‘It gives you a sense of purpose’: Veterans graduate from training program at Evergreens Cemetery

1:37
Mister Cee, a famed hip-hop DJ and key figure behind Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, dies at 57

Mister Cee, a famed hip-hop DJ and key figure behind Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, dies at 57