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Hertz to fight Muslim workers' suit over prayer breaks [USA]

Hertz rental car company, facing a religious discrimination suit by 25 fired Muslim drivers...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...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...In a written statement issued on Thursday, Hertz spokesman Richard Broome said, "this situation has absolutely nothing to do with religious or discrimination."...Hertz spokesman Richard Broome said, "this situation has absolutely nothing to do with religious or discrimination."