Why is it Muslims think the entire world revolves around them? Source: Muslim workers quit jobs at Warren auto supplier | News | voicenews.com h/t TROP
Sixteen Muslims “involuntary resigned” from their jobs at an automotive supplier in Warren because the company refused to accommodate their planned religious observance, their attorneys said Wednesday.
The ex-employees of Brose Jefferson, who worked the afternoon shift, had requested they be allowed to take their unpaid, 30-minute meal break at 9 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m., during Ramadan. During Ramadan, which was celebrated worldwide from May 27 to June 25, Muslims observe strict fasting from sunrise to sunset.
On Friday, May 26, the Muslim employees on the afternoon shift sent an e-mail requesting they be allowed to take their break after sundown, as the company had allowed for at least the last two years. When they returned to work May 30 following the Memorial Day holiday weekend, some inquired with a company human resources representative about the status of a response. They were told the issue would be addressed during the regular pre-shift meeting in the cafeteria.
The Muslim employees were notified the company was taking a different position this year during Ramadan.
“Their supervisors made them choose between their jobs and their religion. They chose their religion,” Cary McGehee, a co-founding partner of the Royal Oak-based law firm Pitt McGehee Palmers & Rivers retained by the group, said in a press release Wednesday. Reached for additional comment, McGehee quoted the production manager telling them, “If I do it for you, I have to do it for other religions.”
She said the affected workers, who all worked as machine operators, unsuccessfully tried to convince the manager and the human resources representatives to let them delay their daily meal break until 9 p.m. and that production would not suffer.
“They got up and handed in their (work) badges to the human resource manager and walked out,” McGehee said.
As they walked out, the production manager told them, “There’s no turning back,” the attorney said.
Fifteen of the 16 individuals work as machine operators in cell stations and not on a production line, where they make door and latch systems. One person is a shift leader. They receive between $13.72 and $17 per hour. Some had worked at the Brose Jefferson plant, located at 25295 Guenther, in the 10 Mile-Dequindre Road area, for up five years.
McGehee said there are other Muslims who work at the plant on the day shift, but they were not affected.
The attorney said the 16 men who quit their jobs were mailed a letter dated June 9, informing them that their effective separation date with the firm was May 30 for “walking off the job” and “job abandonment,” and that their health insurance was terminated May 31.
“I think they’re first of all very hurt by how they were treated and how they were disrespected and also hurt because they are loyal employees and hard workers, and to be treated that way has caused a lot of bad feelings,” McGehee said.
“For these devout Muslims, the only alternative was to leave the workplace en masse before the start of their shift that day,” said attorney Beth Rivers, co-counsel for the group of 16 employees. They handed in their work badges and “involuntarily resigned,” the lawyers said.
Some apparently worked at the Warren facility through a temporary staffing agency.
The attorneys allege the company violated Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and Title VII of the federal civil rights act which makes it unlawful to deny an employee’s request for accommodation due to their religious beliefs unless it would cause an undue burden on an employer. The workers have filed a complaint against Brose with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, their attorneys said.
The Muslim former workers will await the outcome of the EEOC investigation before filing a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court. That could take six months to a year to complete. However, they intend to sue in state court possibly as soon as next week.
The Macomb Daily contacted Brose officials for comment. In response, Brose North America’s corporate communications office in Auburn Hills issued this statement: “Brose carefully considers the needs of all its employees, and we are proud that Brose Jefferson’s workforce is one of the most racially, ethnically, gender, generationally and religiously diverse workplaces in Michigan. Because Brose values the contributions of every member of our team, reasonably accommodating observant Muslims during Ramadan is not new, nor objectionable, to Brose or the Brose Jefferson plant. Unfortunately, this year, a small percentage of Muslim production and temporary agency workers were not satisfied with Brose’s proposed accommodations during Ramadan. They chose to walk off the job rather than discuss other accommodations that would not unduly impact Brose’s production.”
The company continued: “Brose does not intend to litigate this matter in the press, but does contend that the facts as stated in press release issued by the former workers’ attorneys are incorrect. Brose intends to vigorously defend any claims brought against the company.
We wish to thank our existing workforce, many of whom are Muslim, for their continued hard work and dedication to the team, the company and our customers.”
The solution: Never hire a Muslim. Particularly refugees. Sixteen jobs Americans could be doing.