NEW YORK CITY– 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.

Anyone who is aware of businesses using discriminatory practices or believes that 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.