Muslim employees fired because they took short breaks to pray

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2016 | Employment Discrimination |

This month, more than 50 Muslim employees at a Wisconsin company were shocked to discover that they would no longer be allowed to take two five-minute breaks to pray during the work day. Even worse, some of the employees were fired for continuing to pray at set times of day instead of waiting until a company-scheduled break.

CBS Minnesota reports that the company, which manufactures snowblowers, had allowed its Muslim workers to take five-minute prayer breaks up until two weeks ago. Then, on January 14, it suddenly changed its policy regarding employee breaks.

Many of the Muslim employees are concerned that they have been discriminated against and wrongfully fired from their jobs.

In response, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) has gotten involved. CAIR-MN advocates for Muslims and their civil rights all over the country. The organization is seeking a resolution that will allow the Wisconsin employees to continue meeting their religious requirements without further fear of religious discrimination or workplace retaliation.

Are you also in danger of religious discrimination?

If you believe you have suffered from religious discrimination, it’s important to understand that you do have rights under U.S. law. Unless it places a real burden on the company, your employer is supposed to do everything possible to accommodate your religious practices. If you are Muslim, this may mean allowing you to wear a head covering, to take short prayer breaks or to avoid touching certain food products.

Learn more about your legal rights at work by talking with an experienced employment law attorney in Minnesota. A lawyer can provide the skilled advice you need to protect yourself and your job. If you have already lost your job due to discrimination, your attorney may be able to help you file a lawsuit against the company.