The owners of a factory in Wisconsin were in for a bit more than they bargained after deciding to give 21 Somali migrants a job in their facility. Unfortunately, they were soon met with a nasty surprise from their new employees. However, the company returned the favor with a “special gift” of their own just a few days later
Ariens Company makes snow blowers and lawn mowers in Brillion, Wisconsin, but not everything is going so well right now. As it turns out, the company is in the middle of quite the ordeal after deciding to take on 21 Somali Muslim employees.
Unlike everyone else employed at the time, the Muslim employees insist that they need to pray 5 times a day, meaning that they would need to pray during work. In fact, U.S. employment law recognizes this and, in cooperation with the First Amendment, states that an employer must provide “reasonable accommodations” for religious practices, provided they do not result in a hardship for the employer.
However, Ariens Company explained that if they allowed for all their Muslim employees to leave every time they wanted for prayer, it would cost them at least $1 million a year in lost productivity. In order to compromise, they changed their policy to allow Muslims to have two scheduled 10-minute breaks per shift back in 2016, according to Journal Sentinel.
The Muslim employees who were there before the policy change didn’t like the new rules too much and wanted things to stay how they were. Before this change, they could leave whenever and come back in a “reasonable” amount of time.
However, as the number of Muslims grew, this practice started to be a problem – at least, for management at Ariens Company. As for the Muslim employees, a few of them thought they were just going to do what they wanted and continued to take their breaks whenever they pleased.
Before long, the company realized that they had regretted hiring a few of these people and decided to set things straight. In order to ensure that everyone else fell in line, management came up with the perfect payback to make an example out of those guilty of insubordination.
Just like that, they fired 7 of the main offenders. In return, 14 more Muslims quit over the issue making that 21 in total who were gone, as Downtrend reports. Recently, 19 of those 21 Muslims who lost their jobs have filed suit against Ariens Company, claiming wrongful termination – but things aren’t exactly going according to plan.
With the help of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the group of 19 Muslims is demanding the reinstatement of their jobs, back pay, and other damages as well. Apparently, they didn’t know who they were up against as their former employer decided to give them a brutal taste of reality yet again.
As it turns out, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated the allegations brought forth by the Muslims and dismissed the complaint in September. In short, they sided with the employer, saying that management had provided reasonable accommodations and that it was the Muslims who were in the wrong.
We were surprised and disappointed to learn that the Council on American-Islamic Relations, located Washington D.C, elected filed a complaint alleging religious discrimination against Ariens Company,” they said in a statement.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated those allegations and dismissed CAIR’s EEOC complaint in September. In addition, Ariens continues to proudly employ and hire many individuals from the local Somali community. We believe that the EEOC’s dismissal decision was correct and that we will prevail in this matter,” the statement concluded.