Eating on the factory floor: what could be wrong with that? Well, hygiene considerations aside, there is the fact that demanding a privilege that would be flatly forbidden of other employees is not “equal” treatment. That is, unless any and every worker now gets to snack on the job as well.
On the other hand, you’re not supposed to find food in your Electrolux fridge until you take it home and stock it yourself. “Muslim employees: Let us eat at St. Cloud appliance plant,” from the Star-Tribune, July 21 (thanks to all who sent this in):
An advocacy group is asking managers of the Electrolux appliance plant in St. Cloud to allow its Muslim employees to eat during their shifts during Ramadan.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) asked that the Muslim employees be allowed to bring a snack onto the plant’s production floor so they can break their fast at sundown during the monthlong observance, which begins during the second week of August.
According to the group, Electrolux earlier this year adopted a new policy that bars all food from the plant’s production floor.
Most of the 300 employees who work the evening shift are Muslims, the group said.
Some employees filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the company’s policy violates federal and state civil rights laws.
A call to the North American headquarters of the Swedish appliance manufacturer wasn’t immediately returned.