Hertz Fires 26 Muslim Workers For Taking Prayer Breaks

Hertz has fired 26 of its drivers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after the workers opted against clocking out for their Muslim prayer sessions.

The drivers, all of whom are Somali Muslims, saw the company's decision as a failure to appreciate the customs of the Islamic faith.

"We feel like we're being punished for what we believe in," Ileys Omar, one of the former Hertz employees, told local TV news outlet KOMO. "It's five minutes. It's not as big [of a] deal as the company's making it."

Hertz, for its part, says the termination was in fact a last resort after the car rental company sought to respect the workers' faith. Hertz says it was happy to accommodate the Muslim ritual of five daily prayers. But the company asked the workers to clock in and out after noting the workers failed to return immediately to work after finishing the sessions, company spokesman Richard Broome told CBS News. And when Hertz initially suspended 34 workers on Sept. 30 over the prayer breaks, the company presented them with the plan to include the sessions in their daily time cards. Eight agreed to do so, and have since been reinstated.

"We're disappointed that the rest of the transporters did not take us up on what we thought was a reasonable resolution of this matter -- reserving their right to pray during paid breaks," Broome put it plainly to The Seattle Times. Broome also added to CBS that such terms derive from a settlement from two years ago with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Hertz was simply looking to enforce the policy agreed upon with the EEOC, it says.

Through their union representation, the fired workers took issue with the manner in which they were being dealt with by the car company. According to a report in The Seattle Times, representatives from the Local Teamsters Union 117 said that the workers would have preferred to have been approached individually but instead were presented with what they viewed as a contractual ultimatum.

In total, the Teamsters represent roughly 79 workers at the airport's Hertz office. They earn roughly $9.15 to $9.95 an hour. They work without benefits. Many of them are Muslim immigrants, and have been with the company for 15 years. Over that time, Hertz set up a prayer room at the airport for the workers.

The union will look to next file formal complaints charging both unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, and religious discrimination with the EEOC.

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Personally, next time I rent a car, i will make it a HERTZ.

November 19 2011 at 1:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The US was built on religious freedom and I think Hertz has already gone above and beyond to provide both the time and the place for those who hold to this doctrine. Congrats to Hertz! BOOOO to the ACLU--you are always looking for some reason to complain about something. This is a ridiculous, frivolous lawsuit and the courts should put a stop to it. We have become so overly politically correct that we are going backwards. It has to stop somewhere.

November 16 2011 at 1:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Go back to somali then. Hell christains would be killed if they play this crap over there. I'm tired of all these immigrants wanting to change our way of life, the foundation our country was formed on, and them pushing their agenda down our throats. If they want to pray then they don't get paid, it's that simple.

October 25 2011 at 10:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Good ridince. Send them back....

October 24 2011 at 4:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

YOU PEOPLE ARE IN OUR.....OUR COUNTRY..ya do things OUR way...YOU walked AWAY from YOUR COUNTRY..ya did,nt like it..DON,T TRY to build a REPLICA of YOURS in OUR COUNTRY...THAT SIMPLE..and IF...IF..ya don,t like it...GET THE HELL OUT....the Mexicans got away with it but we are SICK and TIRED of OTHERS who WALK AWAY on their CIUNTRY and want a REPLICA of theirs in the USA..WHEN IN ROME..DO AS THE ROMANS DO...let,s keep it that way..if they get angry...SEND THEM BACK...GOD BLESS AMERICA ant the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS...and thats pronounced CORE to the DUMBASS who said it wrong!!!

October 24 2011 at 10:42 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tom's comment

good for you TOM . nicey put .. I agree with you .. there;s to many here .. and they wont live the american way .. .. they want to keep their ways going .. when u fly into over our country .. u see gold tops .. those are mosques .. they have over 1000 here .. why the hell so many .. they want to make the USA look like where they came from .. why are we letting them ! America and Americans better wake up . these muslims have a agenda . Watch out America .. and don't forget to vote Responsible.. get a American in office .. and lets get this country back to where it use to be...

October 24 2011 at 5:08 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I second this.

October 24 2011 at 8:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!!! First they allow them to take 5...let me repeat 5! prayer breaks a day. Then they give them a special room to pray in. Now these ungrateful people are upset because they needed to clock in and out AND they didn't like the way they got it in writing. And now we have the Union filing complaints.

October 24 2011 at 8:33 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Deb's comment


What else can we expect from Unions ????
They have been hell bent on destroying work ethics for decades, the less employees do the better for them, they call it JOB SECURITY, the companies have to hire 3 or 4 employees to do the job of 1, the more employees the more unions dues goes into the unions pockets so they can help elect the calamities we have in our white house and our congress....

October 24 2011 at 8:40 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Thank you, thank you, thank you Hertz for doing your part to prevent at least one workplace from falling prey to "race/religion" card that has taken over this country. We have illegals (who by the way are from all over the world not just the Mexicans) crying foul for being held to the letter of the law - insert the masses being of Mexican/Latin decent....they blame it on their race, then they breed and expect tax payers to pay for their dozen anchors - citing religious reasons for not practicing birth control.
We can't Pledge of Allegiance in school, we cannot pray Christian belief in school, we cannot have a Christmas tree because it offends - well say goodbye to your prayer mat. Turn about is fair play.....be carefull what you wish for because maybe just maybe you may get it. Karma is a boomerrang.....thank you Hertz.

October 24 2011 at 8:00 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to reformtxcs's comment

BRAVO reformtxcs.....

The way I look at it when someone decides to reside in another country they should abide by this country's laws and customs not the other way around, they want their customs and religions to be respected while stomping on ours in the process...........
If their laws and customs are so great stay on your own turf and stay the " F " away from ours.

October 24 2011 at 8:20 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I can just hear my boss now sure you can pray on break like every one else or you can start praying for another job by see ya

October 24 2011 at 6:29 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mhsden's comment


And it's exactly the way it should be.
To hell with the unions and the A.C.L.U and with all organizations hell bent on destroying work ethics.........

October 24 2011 at 6:39 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

No preferences allowed should be in all companies policies
If companies are forced to cater to all grievances nothing worthwhile will never get done, we are seing quality decline in all areas of businesses and getting worse on a daily basis.
Equal pay for equal amount of work
Laze need not apply and if you want to loaf,,,Go elsewhere....
This pleasing every employees requests are and will continue to kill jobs, as for this Muslim crap, careful America, they already took over most of Europe and they're coming after you.

October 24 2011 at 6:25 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

What's Next ....... Come into work late, and go home early to make up for it ?

October 24 2011 at 5:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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