Ariens, a Brillion, Wisconsin, manufacturing company, changed its break policy on Thursday to include two scheduled breaks in which Muslims can pray. Up until now, they were allowed to leave the assembly line twice during a shift, turning over their spot to others. Some 53 of the employees are affected by the policy change, only ten of them have agreed to stay under the new policy. But many of them are not happy because they have their own “clock” in which to pray, not the company’s specific set times.
Changes in time
According to law listed by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, “an employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices if doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer… [such as] decreased efficiency” (read the law here).
“I have been 35 years in America and I’ve never heard of a company that is not allowing its employees to pray five minutes. It is absolutely discrimination on its face,” said Adan Hurr.
“Allow me to pray so that I can go back to work and do what I love to do, which is working for Ariens. But we are not allowed to do that. Yesterday what happened was just a travesty,” he said.
This is the second company that has changed its policy to make production smoother and keep people on the assembly line. The other was Cargill, a meat company, as was previously reported.
Dan Ariens wrote,
We want to be clear that no one was terminated here. We are asking employees to use two scheduled breaks for religious observation, and are offering designated prayer rooms. Additionally, we are also offering to look for positions on other shifts that might better accommodate prayer obligations. This change affected 53 employees. More than ten of the employees have contacted Ariens Company to say they will return to work under the new policy. And we welcome their return. We continue to be open to any of the employees returning to work under the new policy and I have sent a letter to each of them re-stating that offer. Let me be clear: we respect their faith, we respect the work they have done at Ariens, and we respect their decision regardless of their choice to return to work or not.
Inflexible, unproductive religious practices
CAIR has reportedly contacted Ariens and asked them to not change this until the controversy is worked out. Let’s say it this way: the company has to make a profit, or it can’t stay in business and that WOULD affect the employment of hundreds of workers.
Muslims want the break times to coincide with their religious prayer time and are all flustered and upset when it doesn’t work out. Think about it.
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