BRILLION, Wis. — The Council on American Islamic Relations recently filed a complaint against Ariens Co. with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), according to a story on Fox 11 News. The complaint states the company discriminated against its Muslim workers and stems from the company's break policy.
Ariens' break policy allows for two scheduled breaks, each lasting 10 minutes. Muslims pray 5 times a day, generally at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and nighttime.
"Prayer is an obligatory and central aspect of these workers' core religious beliefs," said Maha Sayed, a spokesperson for the council. "Ariens' unilateral and arbitrary decision to revoke the company's break policy solely with respect to religiously motivated requests and it's complete and unwilling to engage in an interactive process with the aggrieved Muslim workers about its accommodation policies violates Tile VII and EEOC guidelines. "
Ariens said since the company started enforcing its prayer policy, 11 Muslim employees were fired, 15 resigned and 27 still work at Ariens.
In a statement, Ariens said, "It's disappointing that a group based in Washington D.C. is filing an EEOC complaint." It goes on to say, "We respect the workers' faith and we respect the work they do at Ariens Co."
The EEOC and NLRB will now conduct an investigation.