BRILLION — A civil liberties
group representing Muslim employees of a Wisconsin manufacturer
has filed a religious discrimination complaint against the company
for not allowing extra break time for prayer.
Ariens Co. fired seven Muslim
employees earlier this year for taking unscheduled prayer time.
Another 14 employees resigned over the break policy.
The lawnmower and snow blower
manufacturer, based in Brillion, moved to enforce an existing rule
of two 10-minute breaks per work shift in January. The company
initially allowed the Muslim employees to leave their work
stations a third time to accommodate prayers but concluded that
The Council on American-Islamic
Relations, or CAIR, filed a federal discrimination complaint on
Tuesday. Ariens spokeswoman Ann Stilp says the company has 27
Muslim employees who are accommodated with prayer rooms.