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Ariens Company Fires 7 Muslim Workers Who Defied Prayer Break Policy

In January, the company established two set 10-minute breaks per shift, for Muslim employees to say their daily prayers. Beforehand, the 53 workers could say their prayers when their faith requires such as as sunset, which moves with the seasons.

When the company began enforcing the policy, dozens of its Muslim employees of Somali descent walked off the job in protest. Since then, according to the company, 32 of the workers have begun abiding by the policy, 14 resigned and this week, Ariens terminated seven who violated the company edict.

A civil rights group - the Council for American-Islamic Relations says it will file federal discrimination and harassment complaints against the company for failing to accommodate its Muslim employees.

Ariens has contended that constantly adjusting prayer breaks would disrupt the production line and harm productivity.

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