A U.S. company that makes snow blowers and lawn mowers has come under fire by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) after it fired Muslim employees for taking extra breaks during their shift for their prayers.
CAIR filed a religious discrimination complaint Tuesday.
Based in Brillion, Wisconsin, Ariens Co. let seven employees go after they disobeyed company policy and took extra breaks for prayers. Fourteen others resigned over the dispute.
CAIR has been involved in the case since January.
"Prior to January 25, 2016, Ariens permitted Muslim employees to individually leave their workstations one at a time to pray after notifying and receiving permission from their supervisor," CAIR said this week, reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
According to the Christian Science Monitor,
Ariens provided the Somali workers a room for their prayers and also a bus service to bring them to and from home in Green Bay. But when it became clear they were taking too many breaks, the company asked that they limit it to two 10-minute breaks for prayer.
Under federal law, that policy change could be illegal "unless they can prove 'undue hardship,' and that is definitely what is at the heart of the matter," CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper told the Monitor
Muslims are required to pray five times a day.
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