Electrolux has agreed to accommodate Muslim employees at its St. Cloud., MN freezer plant during the upcoming Ramadan fast.
In July, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) assisted employees in filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint against Electrolux after the company threatened Muslim workers with termination if they broke their Ramadan fast on the production floor, as eating on the production floor violates plant rules.
Under the new agreement, the company will shift employees' 30-minute break to coincide with sunset during the month of Ramadan. This will allow Muslim employees to break their fast immediately after sunset, pray their sunset prayer, and eat their Ramadan meal off the production floor. Additionally, all managers, supervisors, human resources personnel, and labor relations personnel at the St. Cloud plant will receive two hours of training on religious accommodation requirements under federal law. The EEOC will monitor compliance with the agreement for not less than 3 years.
Approximately 165 of the plants employees are Muslim.
On Wednesday, August 4, CAIR-MN hosted its second annual "Positive Interactions" employer workshop to address issues of religious accommodation in the workplace. Managers from Twin Cities metro-area companies attended the workshop to better understand the legal obligation of religious accommodation and to learn about customs and practices of Muslim employees.
CAIR offers a booklet, called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," to help employers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims in the workplace.
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