Nobody is telling the Muslim drivers that they can’t take prayer breaks. What they are telling them is that they will not get paid while they take their prayer breaks. It sounds fair to me, and apparently it sounded fair to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission a couple of years ago, too.
From The Seattle Times
More than two dozen Somali Muslim drivers for Hertz at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are being fired after refusing to clock out for daily breaks during which they normally pray, according to media reports Thursday.
The 26 workers drive the company’s rental cars to and from the airport for cleaning and refueling. They are among 34 Hertz employees suspended Sept. 30 for failing to clock out before breaks.
Eight of the 34 signed the clock-out agreement and have returned to their jobs, company spokesman Rich Broome told The Associated Press Friday in an email. Termination letters have been sent to the rest.
The company made it clear the suspended workers needed to agree to the clock-out conditions by the end of the day Thursday if they wanted to be reinstated, Broome told The Seattle Times.
The firings were first reported by KOMO-TV.
Broome told the AP earlier this month “It’s not about prayer, it’s not about religion; it’s about reasonable requirements.”
Observant Muslims pray several times a day.
Hertz said the suspended workers were violating provisions of a collective bargaining agreement and a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached two years ago.
Teamsters Local 117, which represents the workers, said the two sides were unable to negotiate an agreement that would have allowed the workers to return to their pre-suspension status, under which they wouldn’t have to clock out to pray.
read more at The Seattle Times