A Wisconsin manufacturing plant -- claiming "undue hardship" results from prayer breaks -- has told Muslim employees they cannot leave the assembly line to pray, although Muslim employees say there was never a problem, the Christian Science Monitor website reports today (January 18, 2016).
Muslim employees can only leave work to pray during meal breaks, according to a new policy imposed at Ariens Manufacturing Company, which makes lawn mowers and snow blowers in Brillion, Wisconsin.
Islamic faith requires Muslims to pray five times a day. Until the new policy was announced on January 14, Muslim employees at Ariens were permitted to leave their station at the production line to pray twice during their shifts. While practicing the five-minute prayer, the Muslim employees would allocate their duties among coworkers.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that employees do not have to accommodate a religious practice if it causes "undue hardship" to the company by decreasing practice if it causes "undue hardship" to the company by decreasing "workplace efficiency."