A national organization is filing a lawsuit on behalf of 19 former workers at the Ariens Company over prayer breaks.
Somali Muslim workers at the plant in Brillion say they’re being forced to choose between not performing their prayers or possibly losing their jobs.
Ariens changed its break policy last year. Before the change, Muslim employees were allowed to leave the production line twice each shift to pray for five minutes. To avoid unscheduled breaks in production, Ariens Company told its workers to pray during scheduled breaks in designated prayer rooms.
Seven workers were fired for failing to comply and 14 others resigned.
Ariens CEO Dan Ariens has said the company decided to enforce its standing break policy because the unscheduled breaks were causing down time, and cost them over $1 million.
The suit was filed in federal court by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.