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Hertz facing Religious discrimination Lawsuit

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I recently published an Op-Ed at the Seattle Multi-Faith examiner column about the recent news of 25 Samolia Muslims that are now sueing Hertz for violation of their right to religious freedom, and discrimination based on their religion and ethnicity.

According to Hertz, those employees who were suspended and then later discharged from employment refused to clock out and then back in from their ten minute breaks, as well as majority of them having taken longer than ten-minutes to pray.

With union representation, the lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court under the guise of Equal Employment Opportunity violation. The question is, did Hertz violate their right to religious expression and used that to discharge them? Or, if Hertz is correct, were the employees properly disciplined in an At Will State and violation of company policy, as well as State statutes and laws regarding rest and meal breaks?

Join in and share your thoughts on this: Breaking News: Hertz rental Car Company under “religious discrimination lawsuit†- Seattle Multi-Faith | Examiner.com

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Sounds like the big question may rest on the union contract and the requirement to clock out for breaks. It's one of those she said/he said situations and obviously the way both sides tell it they are in the right and the other is in the wrong.

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Sounds like the big question may rest on the union contract and the requirement to clock out for breaks. It's one of those she said/he said situations and obviously the way both sides tell it they are in the right and the other is in the wrong.

If it is a basis of a Union Contract Violation, which I do believe it sounds like it is, then there ought to be a written grievance process that these people should pursue and file a lawsuit based on that and not Religious and Ethnicity discrimination. I agree, both sides are accusing the other of not being correct.

I am of the opinion that there is a legitimate suit here, however, the question is, did Hertz discriminate because of religious perspective or did they simply negate a Union Contract and violated that union contract? I believe they did and therefore the legal pursuit should be under that provision and not the other.

However, if those individuals took longer than ten minutes as allowed by law, then they are themselves in violation of the company and the law as well and may not even have grounds for a lawsuit. Will watch and see what happens with this one.

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According to Hertz, those employees who were suspended and then later discharged from employment refused to clock out and then back in from their ten minute breaks, as well as majority of them having taken longer than ten-minutes to pray.

Were there other employees (Christians, atheists, etc) who refused to clock out and then clock back in, or who took longer than 10 minute breaks? If yes, how were they treated? Were they also released? To me, that's where the question lies. I don't believe a business should be forced to maintain tardy employees, as long as they treat everyone equally.

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Were there other employees (Christians, atheists, etc) who refused to clock out and then clock back in, or who took longer than 10 minute breaks? If yes, how were they treated? Were they also released? To me, that's where the question lies. I don't believe a business should be forced to maintain tardy employees, as long as they treat everyone equally.

This is according to Reuters:

In a written statement issued on Thursday, Hertz spokesman Richard Broome said, "this situation has absolutely nothing to do with religious or discrimination."

"The employees refused to accept our only requirement -- that they clock out first to ensure that when prayers ended they returned to work promptly, which wasn't happening in many instances," he said.

Other workers suspended for not clocking out on prayer breaks were reinstated after agreeing to the rules, he said.

It appears, when you read Reuters, the employees were allowed to take their necessary breaks without having to clock out and then back in from their ten-minute breaks. This should be where the lawsuit resides and not on the infringement of religious discrimination. Now, I can see if Hertz used the sudden, you have to clock out and back in as a measure to force out those employees as a means to discharge them. If this were the case, then Hertz definitely is at fault for a technical religious discrimination by utilizing a policy requirement change and in violation of their contract.

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My hunch is that Hertz allowed the workers to break for their prayers, but these sessions were going longer than 10 minutes. So, the supervisors asked that they clock out for their prayers, so it would be fair for everyone. Then the workers claimed they were being targeted for their religious practice, hoping that the fear of being charged with discrimination would for management to back off, and continue abusing their 10-minute breaks with much lengthier prayer sessions. My understanding is that salat prayers usually take about 15-20 minutes.

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My hunch is that Hertz allowed the workers to break for their prayers, but these sessions were going longer than 10 minutes. So, the supervisors asked that they clock out for their prayers, so it would be fair for everyone. Then the workers claimed they were being targeted for their religious practice, hoping that the fear of being charged with discrimination would for management to back off, and continue abusing their 10-minute breaks with much lengthier prayer sessions. My understanding is that salat prayers usually take about 15-20 minutes.

Which is my sentiments exactly, they are trying to force their employer to allow them special priveleges that are outside of the normal functions of Washington State Law. An employer is only required to provide a worker a ten-minute break for every two hours worked. Anything above that is a concession an employer can make.

I personally believe the same as you have stated, they were noticing that people were abusing their breaks and therefore implemented the clocking out and then back in to prevent those from abusing the breaks.

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