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CAIR sues UPS on behalf of Mendota Heights, Minn. Muslims

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Former workers at the UPS facility in Mendota Heights, Minn., are suing the shipping giant and the staffing agency that placed them there, claiming supervisors fired Muslim employees who took prayer breaks.

The suit, filed by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on behalf of the fired workers, claims Muslim workers’ prayer schedule had always been accommodated until UPS hired a new operations manager.

The suit alleges the manager called a meeting and asked for a show of hands of workers who needed to pray during the workday. He then allegedly said he wanted to replace everyone who raised their hands.

UPS and the staffing agency, Doherty Staffing Solutions in Edina, deny the charges. They claim an internal investigation found no evidence of discrimination.

CAIR filed the suit under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, alleging discrimination based on religion, race and national origin. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Note: If the allegations are true, they illustrate how dangerous it is to discontinue an accommodation that has apparently worked in the past. If you are considering such a move, be prepared to provide a compelling reason for the change based on business necessity.

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