An additional four Ariens employees have been terminated for not following break policy, according to a company spokesperson.
In total, 11 employees of the Brillion company have been terminated over break policy and 14 have resigned over the issue.
The workers, all Muslims, say the break policy interferes with prayer.
In January, CEO Dan Ariens told employees the company would be enforcing the policy of two scheduled breaks lasting 10 minutes. The company said some non-Muslim workers had raised concerns about other employees taking unscheduled breaks to pray. Ariens said the company needed to address the issue to minimize the impact on assembly lines.
In February, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced it was filing a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Milwaukee. CAIR says terminated workers should get their jobs back and receive back-pay.
Ariens said he was disappointed in CAIR’s actions and would rather work with his employees directly, not with an outside group.
Twenty-eight Muslim workers have chosen to stay on the job and abide by the break policy, according to a company spokesperson.
Ariens makes outdoor power equipment including snow blowers and lawnmowers.
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