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25 Muslims Fired Over Prayers at Hertz

Author: Colleen Curry, ABC News , Published on: 21 October 2011

Hertz has fired 25 Muslim workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for refusing to clock out while taking breaks to pray during their shifts. Hertz sent termination notices to the Somali Muslim workers...after suspending them on Sept. 30 for failing to clock out - a move that the workers union...said unfairly targeted the workers for their religion. "The employer is saying this is not about religion. The problem is, this is only enforced policy with respect to prayer breaks," said Tracey Thompson, secretary-treasurer of the union. "I'm quite certain people take many, many smoking breaks, or go across the street to get coffee. But when they singled out this group of workers when they are engaging in prayer, it is hard to make it about anything other than religion."..."This idea that people were laid off for praying is not true," Broome [spokesman for Hertz] said. "We have a lot of employees in Seattle and around the world that are Muslim who pray every day and who have not been suspended. This is a matter about following simple workplace rules and complying with those rules."

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Related companies: Hertz