CAIR-Minnesota (CAIR-MN) Today Sues UPS, Staffing Company for Firing Muslim Workers Over Prayer
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 6/1/2017) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today announced the filing of a lawsuit in state court against UPS Mail Innovations and Doherty Staffing Solutions for firing multiple Muslim employees who wanted to pray during their break times after previously having allowed them to pray.
The plaintiffs stated that there had been no problem with them using their break time to pray until a new UPS operations manager was hired. He then terminated employees who wanted to pray.
"There is no lawful reason for any company to stop Muslims from praying when previously that company had allowed such prayers in a manner that did not impact the workplace," said CAIR-MN's Civil Rights Director Amir Malik, who is one of the plaintiffs' attorneys. "We believe that UPS Mail Innovations and Doherty Staffing Solutions withdrew this reasonable accommodation pretextually, in order to get rid of the Muslim employees."
The complaint, filed in the Fourth Judicial District Court of Minnesota, requests the Court to order that the defendants compensate the plaintiffs for the harm done to them in addition to punitive damages to prevent this type of illegal conduct in the future.
Background of the Case:
Muslims had been working at the UPS Mail Innovations facility without incident when a new operations manager was hired. He made it clear that the system was going to be changing and that anybody who wanted to take a break to pray would be terminated and that if they asked for a bathroom break and were found praying, they would be terminated as he wanted the facility to be like his former one in Arizona.
"The UPS operations manager held a meeting and asked who wanted to pray. After we raised our hands, he said that he would replace all of us," reported Mr. Abdifatah Hassan, one of the plaintiffs.
Faced with losing his job or losing his religion, Mr. Hassan and other Somali Muslims were forced out of their employment at the UPS facility. Their staffing agency, Doherty Staffing Solutions, abdicated their role as a staffing agency and let the Muslims be terminated.
CAIR offers a booklet, called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," to help corporate managers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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