World’s largest US-based car rental company, Hertz Rental, founded by Hungarian Jewish immigrant John D Hertz in 1923, has fired 25 Muslim workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for refusing to clock out while taking breaks to pray during their shifts.
However, the Muslim workers, all Somalian men and women, and the workers union, Teamsters Local 117, say they’re unfairly targeted for their religion.
“The employer is saying this is not about religion. The problem is, this is only enforced policy with respect to prayer breaks,” said Tracey Thompson, secretary-treasurer of the union. “I’m quite certain people take many, many smoking breaks, or go across the street to get coffee. But when they singled out this group of workers when they are engaging in prayer, it is hard to make it about anything other than religion.”
The Teamsters said the implementation of the clocking rule represented a sudden policy shift on the part of Hertz management. In the same statement, Maryan Muse, a five-year Hertz employee, is quoted as saying that Hertz managers made fun of her and her Muslim colleagues as they prayed.
In September 34 Muslim employees were suspended by Hertz management for so-called taking extra time during their legal break rights of two 10 minutes break during 8-hour shift.
Hertz is known to provide free car rental to Israeli airline EL AL passengers. The Hertz Corporation is the largest car rental company in the world, and has operations in more than 140 countries.
Hertz fires 25 Muslim workers for praying | Rehmat's World