Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

24 Muslim Workers Fired for Taking Five Minutes to Pray During Evening Shift

Posted by on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:28 PM
  • 258 Replies


24 Muslim Workers Fired for Taking Five Minutes to Pray During Evening Shift

article image

Some Muslim workers in Cincinnati were fired recently for taking time to pray on the job after their company changed its policy on flexible break times.

Mohamed Maow, along with nearly two-dozen other Somali refugees who had been legally working part and full time at DHL Global Mail, was fired after stopping for a five minute evening prayer that is required by the religion of Islam. The three-year employee of DHL has never received any negative reviews for his work over the years, and in the past, the company allowed flexible break times that enabled the Muslim workers to be able to pray when they needed to.

After changing their break policy, however, Muslim workers were left with no choice but to take the five-minutes to pray. Workers claim that they told supervisors that they would go off the clock for the prayer time, but they weren’t allowed.

"We do not have a choice," said Shahira Abdullah, 21. "We must stop what we are doing and pray. We were not asking for an additional break."

A new supervisor had taken over not long before the group was fired, and that is when the policy changed. On October 9th, Maow and the other 23 Muslim workers stopped to pray at 7:24pm. After their prayer, three workers were called into the office by the supervisor and told they were all fired. Police were called to the scene to make sure that there were no harsh reactions when the workers were leaving the building.

Now, 12 complaints, including one from Maow, have been filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and 12 more are still expected to be filed.

"We are requesting all available remedies allowed under Title VII (of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964) and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, including but not limited to: damages, reinstatement where appropriate and policy changes to ensure that all worker's civil rights are respected," said Booker Washington of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the organization that is filing the complaints on behalf of the workers.

DHL released a statement in response to the complaints filed, stating, “While we believe that all respective internal rules of DHL Global Mail are perfectly in line with legal requirements, we will investigate/consider the case carefully. DHL Global Mail is an equal opportunity employer and takes seriously all complaints of harassment and discrimination, however we do not comment in detail on pending charges or litigation. Our policies provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. DHL Global Mail ensures employees’ religious practices are understood and, as reasonable, accommodated.”

Still, Maow and the 23 other Muslim workers that were fired for taking five minutes to pray claim that there was a basic lack of understanding and an unwillingness to compromise.

"First, it's religion," said Maow on the tenants of Islam. "Second, it's that you are to support your father and mother and children until they are able to care for themselves. We take work very seriously. I have never had this problem before. When I took English class at Cincinnati Public Schools, my teachers always understood when I had to pray. It never was a problem."

The matter is currently being handled, but as of right now, Maow and many other former DHL workers are unemployed.

by on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:28 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:32 PM
5 moms liked this
That sounds pretty illegal. I'm sure if they sue they will win. Muslims are required to pay 5 times a day at specific times. Taking 5 min to pray should not be an unreasonable request.
muslimah
by on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:34 PM

 Glad I live in Michigan where somthing like this is rarely an issue.

 Subhan Allah ( سبحان الله )"Glory be to Allah"
 Alhamdulillah ( الحمدللہ )"All Praise to Allah"
 Allahu Akbar ( الله اكبر )"Allah is the Greatest"

jjchick75
by Bronze Member on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Wow that is sad! 

IhartU
by Gold Member on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:37 PM
1 mom liked this

 Most of the Muslims I've spoken with say they prefer to work for other Muslims because they understand the religious needs more so than a non-Mulsim boss would. After reading this article, I can totally see why that would be the case.

tnmomofive
by Bronze Member on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:38 PM

I think that is stupid for them to be canned for.I wonder if it were Chrsitians or whoever else having a prayer if they'd have been canned too? Honestly..knowing that Muslims do this at different times in the day every single day the company should not have hired them if they did not want to deal with it.On the same token I can see where the Muslims might want to think about doing these prayers during their actual break periods..we all have to work for a living.

Sisteract
by Whoopie on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:40 PM
13 moms liked this

I am the odd man out here. I do not think that places of business should be forced to give workers preferential treatment during paid work time hours for religious reasons. 5 minutes multiple times a day Xs many workers adds up- 

Praying on your break time-A-OK!

KhloesMom2009
by on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:41 PM
5 moms liked this

I hope all the people who felt it necessary to relieve themselves in the bathroom were fired as well. A good manager and a good company does what it can to keep the morale of its staff uplifted. That means allowing a short break for prayer if needed.

TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:42 PM
3 moms liked this
But they shouldn't have to!! They should be able to work anywhere and freely exercise their right to pray for 5 minutes!

Quoting IhartU:

 Most of the Muslims I've spoken with say they prefer to work for other Muslims because they understand the religious needs more so than a non-Mulsim boss would. After reading this article, I can totally see why that would be the case.

KhloesMom2009
by on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I get what you're saying.

I'll bet there will be a lot of things that come to light because of this, like unsanctioned smoe breaks etc.

Quoting Sisteract:

I am the odd man out here. I do not think that places of business should be forced to give workers preferential treatment during paid work time hours for religious reasons. 5 minutes multiple times a day Xs many workers adds up- 

Praying on your break time-A-OK!


Mommabearbergh
by on Nov. 9, 2013 at 4:43 PM
1 mom liked this
They are legally supposed to have at least a fifteen minute break. What they do during it shouldn't be questioned unless they are doing something like smoking pot or something. This just seems all out of sorts
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN