Muslim employees claim religious discrimination during walkout

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2019 | Employment Discrimination |

For Minnesotans with specific religious requirements regarding prayer and other important aspects of their religion, it is important that their employer understand their needs and be reasonable in allowing them the freedom to adhere to their beliefs. Failure to do so could result in allegations of religious discrimination. Employee rights is a key part of the law and workers who are confronted with any kind of mistreatment or discrimination must make sure they understand how to seek compensation in a legal filing.

Workers at a processing plant walked out during their workday because they say their employer has not allowed them to pray as they need to as part of their Muslim faith. There were an estimated 35 to 40 workers who took part. They were supposed to clock in for work at 1 p.m. Instead, they walked out to highlight the issues that concern them. A grievance letter was written and sent to the company’s management. They say the employer is behaving in a racist manner and is taking part in Islamophobia because managers have restricted how workers can pray.

In Islam, people are required to pray five times per day at different intervals. Two happen during the regular workday for these employees. One employee who had been with the company for a decade said that prior management let workers clock out for enough time to pray even if it did not coincide with their regular break time. New management changed the way the plant is run and scheduled time that did not fit with the religious needs. Workers say this causes an undue burden and can negatively impact their work. During a meeting over these issues, a manager was accused of throwing his shirt at a worker and issuing threats of disciplinary action. The parent company has started an investigation into these and other alleged workplace violations.

The United States is known as a “melting pot” for many reasons and one is that it accepts people regardless of their personal beliefs. Workplaces are obligated under the law to allow workers who are of certain religions to have the required time to pray and for other reasonable accommodations to be made. If this is not done and workers feel as if there was a legal violation, they have the right to have their employee rights upheld. If anyone is confronted with religious discrimination or any other workplace illegalities, a law firm that specializes in employment discrimination can help with a case.