These workers refused to clock out to pray. They weren’t being denied breaks. They were just not being allowed to get paid to pray. And so, of course, they are suing. But Hertz, unlike most American businesses when faced with Islamic supremacist intimidation lawsuits, is fighting back.
SEATTLE (Reuters) – Hertz rental car company, facing a religious discrimination suit by 25 fired Muslim drivers, said on Thursday it would “vigorously defend” itself in a dispute involving prayer breaks at its Seattle airport office.
Hertz says the drivers, all of them Somali natives, refused to clock in and out for the 10-minute paid breaks they took twice daily, as required under their union contract, and abused their breaks by failing to return to work promptly.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in King County Superior Court, accuses Hertz of intentionally creating a “hostile work environment owing to religious, race and national origin discrimination” by terminating the drivers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in late October.
The lawsuit says Hertz employees at the airport have been allowed to take bathroom or smoking breaks for the past 15 years without clocking in or out. It also says Muslim workers among them have long been permitted to take prayer breaks off the clock and that their labor contract does not require clocking out for such breaks.
Their lawyer, Jack Sheridan, said the Muslims [sic] workers, whose job it was to shuttle rental cars for cleaning and refueling, typically prayed in privately designated spaces twice daily for three to five minutes at a time.
Besides Hertz, the lawsuit names two Hertz managers as defendants, accusing them of addressing Muslim workers in a harsh tone, peering into the women’s designated prayer space for no reason and banging on the women’s restroom door.
It’s funny how Muslim claims of mistreatment at the hands of non-Muslims so frequently have sexual overtones, isn’t it?
In a written statement issued on Thursday, Hertz spokesman Richard Broome said, “this situation has absolutely nothing to do with religious or discrimination.”
“The employees refused to accept our only requirement — that they clock out first to ensure that when prayers ended they returned to work promptly, which wasn’t happening in many instances,” he said.
Other workers suspended for not clocking out on prayer breaks were reinstated after agreeing to the rules, he said.
Sheridan said the lawsuit seeks job reinstatement with back pay for the 25 fired workers, plus damages for emotional pain and suffering….
Poor dears! How they have suffered!