Hertz punishes muslim workers for not following break rules

Hertz: Muslim workers failed to follow break rules
By Laura Myers | Reuters – Sat, Oct 8, 2011
tweet13Share7
Email
Print
RELATED CONTENT

A Hertz sign is seen outside a rental car office in Ferndale, Michigan May 9, 2011. …
U.S. SLIDESHOWS

The Hollywood Bowl: Through the years
16 photos – Fri, Oct 7, 2011

Pres. Obama salutes 1985 Chicago Bears
11 photos – Fri, Oct 7, 2011

Bono and his famous friends
19 photos – Mon, Sep 19, 2011
See latest photos »
SEATTLE (Reuters) – Hertz rental car company, which was met with protests for suspending 34 Muslim shuttle drivers in Seattle in a dispute over prayer breaks, said it would reinstate the workers if they agreed to clock in and out.
Hertz said the Somali Muslim employees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were suspended not for praying but for failing to clock in and out for 10-minute breaks as required under a collective bargaining agreement.
Washington state law allows employees two 10-minute breaks during an eight-hour shift.
“This issue arose when breaks for prayers were extended for unacceptably long periods beyond 10 minutes for nonreligious activities, Hertz spokesman Richard Broome said in a written statement issued on Friday night.
“Individual warnings were communicated as well as a written warning, both prior to the implementation of disciplinary action,” he said.
Workers protested the Seattle airport Hertz location on Wednesday following the suspensions, which Teamsters Local 117, the union representing the Muslim workers, has called discrimination based on religious beliefs.
The union said in a statement released earlier this week that Muslim employees had complained of a hostile work environment toward them and said that, in one instance, a Hertz manager tried to block a group of seven Somali women from accessing a designated prayer room.
“This is an outrageous assault on the rights of these workers and appears to be discriminatory based on their religious beliefs,” Tracey Thompson, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 117, said in a written release.
But Broome, in his statement, said Hertz had accommodated the Muslim workers’ prayer schedule for 15 years at the Seattle airport location, creating a space for them to pray.
He said Muslim workers at the airport facility had not suspended, Broome said.
“Several of our Muslim employees at the Seattle airport are complying and are not affected by the disciplinary action, which undercuts the false contention that this issue is related to prayer or religion,” Broome said. (Editing by Dan Whitcomb)

Advertisements

About internalmarket

This blog and its accompanying Twitter account have been established as social media learning tools for the Internal Communications and Employee Engagement class at Columbia College Chicago. Through this blog, we will share our observations about current events, change management and employee communications theory, and the application of social media in shaping employee engagement.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s