As most readers in Minnesota are aware, state and federal laws afford employees certain rights. Among these rights is the protection against illegal workplace discrimination. This means that employers cannot display prejudice against their workers based on such things as race, religion or sexual orientation. The existence of such laws, however, is not always enough to prevent employees from being the victims of such discrimination.
Six former employees of the Hertz car rental company reportedly claim that they were the victims of workplace discrimination based on their religion and nationality. As a result, they have filed a lawsuit against the company. The workers, who are Muslims from East Africa, were all employed at the company’s Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport location. According to reports, they allege that they were mocked, harassed for praying, subjected to more severe disciplinary action and required to keep their food in a separate refrigerator.
The former employees claim that they were fired after refusing to sign a discriminatory prayer policy. Details of the policy were not disclosed. According to an attorney representing one of the workers, there were multiple Muslim employees either fired or forced to quit between 2007 and 2010. The workers claim that the discrimination began in 2007 after the company made management changes at their location. At least one of the workers kept quiet about the alleged nationality and religion discrimination while he was still employed with the company because he would lose his job.
Discrimination in the workplace can drive employees from a job that they enjoy, and are good at. This may lead not only to a loss of income, but also certain benefits. People who have experienced situations such as this may find it of benefit to discuss their situation with a legal professional to understand their rights and options.
Source: KSTP TV, “Former Workers Sue Hertz, Claiming Discrimination Against Minn. Muslims,” Stephen Tellier, Jan. 12, 2015