October 22nd, 2011
11:27 AM ET

Worker says prayer break got her fired

(CNN)–A Muslim former Hertz employee says she was fired because she didn't clock out for her prayer breaks. CNN affiliate KOMO reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam

soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. AGuest9

    I have been told when in London, to expect the bus to come to a stop while the driver goes out to pray. I thought it was a joke. then it happened. I was totally blown away by the selfishness of these people.

    October 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Muneef


      You do realize that prayers are at certain exact times and not allowed to postpone specially prayers which has short time in between each and has to be coughtup with before it's time goes... Then what do you suppose they can do to maintain prayers and do their job as well ? Each prayer should not take more than five minutes but the proformance of Ablution before prostration takes another five minutes making it a total of ten minutes...
      Am not sure about those going for a smoke or those going for toilets, how long they take before they return...?

      October 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • IslamInsanity

      Islam is an intolerant cult, created by a ped0phille. Scary stuff...

      October 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Free

      You're right! I use to have a student job where I was one of the few non-smokers. It seems that it was just an understood thing back then that "smoke brakes" were never clocked out, and just a extra thing for smokers only. I would have been laughed at if I ever wanted to have a "Pepsi break" instead, for instance. Now that's what I call selfish. 🙂

      October 22, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • On the other hand

      It's the non-smokers who made it necessary for the smokers to take a break. I used to smoke at my desk and never had to stop working, except for lunch or a quick trip to the bathroom.

      October 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Free

      On the other hand
      Yeah, silly non-smokers with their selfish not wanting to get cancer from second-hand smoke just ruined it for you all. Smoking has killed more Americans than all the terrorists and insurgents combined.

      October 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Reality

      When you take those prayer breaks, make sure you do not fart.

      Added details:


      "Farting is problematic in Islam. During prayer, a worshipper must not fart. Sahih Bukhari (1.4.137) writes that Allah will not accept a Muslim's prayer if he/she passes wind during the ritual.

      The exception occurs if the worshipper farts silently, or the fart does not smell. In such a case, he/she may continue with the prayer (ibid, 1.4.139).Sunaan Nasai (1.162) writes that if you fart during a prayer you must redo ablution. Sahih Bukhari (9.86.86) says that for a "farter" Allah will not accept his/her prayer until he/she performs another ablution."

      October 22, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Free

      Did a quick lookup. Over 443,000 Americans (over 18 percent of all deaths) die because of smoking each year. Secondhand smoke kills about 50,000 of them.

      If I could ask an all-powerful God for one miracle it would be to take all tobacco products on this planet, everything including the plants and seeds, and hurl them into the sun. That would make the world a far better place.

      October 23, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Al

      Was it selfish of the Christians to refuse to open their shops on Sunday?

      October 23, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Muneef

      Maybe minutes borrowed for a prayer or a smoke should be deducted from their pay and given to the person who covers the job while they are away... Seems fair enough rather than firing people?

      October 23, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Maybe minutes borrowed for a prayer or a smoke should be deducted from their pay and given to the person who covers the job while they are away... Seems fair enough rather than firing people?"

      Yeah, but to do that she had to "clock out" and she refused. That is insubordination plain and simple.

      October 23, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • John Richardson

      There's a lot of break time abuse and companies have to be able to control it. For this person to refuse to clock out is simply unconscionable.

      October 23, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • AGuest9

      What christians to refuse to open their shops on Sundays?

      October 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Al

      It was very common up until the 80's. If you're fairly young then it isn't surprising that you don't remember when most Christians actually put their faith before profit.

      October 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • derp

      "It was very common up until the 80's. If you're fairly young then it isn't surprising that you don't remember when most Christians actually put their faith before profit"

      As the business owner, that is their choice. However if a christian employee refuses to clock out to go to church on Sunday, they should be fired right along with this dumas s muslim wench.

      You have a right to find a job. You do not have the right to force your employer to pay you while you are not working.

      October 25, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  2. Muneef

    Well if she was deliberately taking advantage extending her time break on the excuse of prayers just to scape work then she deserves what she got...
    But if she was not intentionally doing any similar thing and was making her prayers as quick as possible and return to work in good faith then she was a victim or religion discrimination or some sort of slavery..and that is bad...
    Allow me to quote;
    Recite in the name of your Lord who created – (96:1).

    Created man from a clinging substance. (96:2).

    Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous – (96:3).

    Who taught by the pen – (96:4).

    Taught man that which he knew not. (96:5).

    No! [But] indeed, man transgresses (96:6).

    Because he sees himself self-sufficient. (96:7).

    Indeed, to your Lord is the return. (96:8).

    Have you seen the one who forbids (96:9)

    A servant when he prays? (96:10).

    Have you seen if he is upon guidance (96:11).

    Or enjoins righteousness? (96:12).

    Have you seen if he denies and turns away – (96:13).

    Does he not know that Allah sees? (96:14).

    No! If he does not desist, We will surely drag him by the forelock – (96:15).

    A lying, sinning forelock. (96:16).

    Then let him call his associates; (96:17).

    We will call the angels of Hell.  (96:18).

    No! Do not obey him. But prostrate and draw near [to Allah ]. (96:19).

    October 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Reality

      And there is the issue of farting while on your prayer break:


      "Farting is problematic in Islam. During prayer, a worshipper must not fart. Sahih Bukhari (1.4.137) writes that Allah will not accept a Muslim's prayer if he/she passes wind during the ritual.

      The exception occurs if the worshipper farts silently, or the fart does not smell. In such a case, he/she may continue with the prayer (ibid, 1.4.139).Sunaan Nasai (1.162) writes that if you fart during a prayer you must redo ablution. Sahih Bukhari (9.86.86) says that for a "farter" Allah will not accept his/her prayer until he/she performs another ablution."

      October 23, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  3. FriendlyNeighborhoodAtheist

    If they let people take smoke breaks without clocking out, I think they should let them pray without it. At least they're not running up everyone's health insurance premiums like the smokers.

    October 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Guest

      Good point.

      October 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  4. hesalive

    Satan loves a religion of a billion people who don't believe in the deity of God's risen Son.

    October 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      My imaginary friend loves everyone!

      October 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Al

      You must be mighty close to Satan for him to tell you who he loves. 🙂

      October 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  5. John Richardson

    Glad to hear she was fired!

    October 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  6. aqa

    MY DAD MY FIRST LOVE written by anna piekarczyk in Kindle amazon really worthy and spiritual ebook which made my life better now I know there is life after death and that GOD is the greatest

    October 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  7. G-D

    GOD’s Love

    We Love GOD because “We are”.
    We are living because of GOD.
    We are learning because of GOD.
    We are seeing our faults because of GOD.
    We are always repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows us to be as “We are”.

    You should Love GOD because “You are”.
    You are living because of GOD.
    You are learning because of GOD.
    You are seeing your faults because of GOD.
    You are ever repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows you to be what “You are”.

    I should Love GOD because “I am“.
    I am living because of GOD
    I am learning because of GOD
    I am seeing my faults because of GOD
    I am forevermore repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows me to be what "I am".

    by god, built by God and forever inside the body of GOD

    October 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  8. RAWoD

    This could evolve into the demand that geek employees should be paid to go outside and read comic books.

    October 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      A geek that reads comic books? Maybe in the 60's but with the recent death of one of the geek forefathers .... We have iPads, laptops, and PDAs like what I am using right now to type this.

      But, I do understand your point. 🙂

      October 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  9. David Johnson

    Even if Allah himself were working, I would can his ass if he didn't work 8 hours. If he wanted to give up his lunch hour, or work past the normal work quitting time...fine. Otherwise, Allah would be collecting unemployment.

    I would also extend this courtesy to Jesus. I am an equal opportunity employer.


    October 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • jasonb

      If Jesus were working there, or for you, he wouldn't do that.

      October 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Dog, the dyslexic deity

      Fortunately, there is no god, and Jesus has been dead for 2000 years. Next.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  10. Christopher H Lee

    I have worked in a non-overtime environment and had an orthodox jew as an employee. He had prayer times and had to leave early on Fridays to ensure he was home by sundown. In such a case, where there is no clocking in or out, it is the employee's responsibility to complete their 8 hours a day, not including lunch and other breaks. Prayer is not work and does not count as work time. The same should apply to hourly workers. If they use a clock to differentiate between work time and non-work time, they should be clocking out to eat, pray, smoke, dance, chat round the water cooler or anything else that is not doing the job.

    October 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  11. TruthPrevails

    She's at work, not home or her mosque. If she wishes to take her prayer breaks than she should not be working in the public sector. Her being fired for not clocking out is well deserved and she needs to suck it up and be a big girl!

    October 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  12. petemg

    Nobody said they could not break but they should clock out. Can't they just find a way to get along and not try to have us bow to their ways. I was always taught that Muslims were peaceful people, but this shows different. Like back in Minnesota when a Muslim woman applied at Country Buffet. She knew the dress code, and yet she demanded to be allowed to wear her turban or whatever you call it. She pushed and shoved and got her own Muslim way. I guess Muslims take priority because of our Muslim president? this nation has tolerated many religions and different people and now it appears they want to conquer this nation as their own. When we go to their country the women wear the dress of the Muslim to respect the country. Why not do the same here.

    October 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • hippypoet

      our pres is not muslim... and her power to say she won't change her outfit is against her religion, so if the company wanted to hire her then they the company would be making the change not her as this could be seen as a religious issue. the buffet could have easily not hired her. The article is about her clocking the minutes she spent not working while at work – thats stealing, which goes against her religious beliefs... she was at fault, but she didn't see it that way...thats it, nothing to do with the very christian leader of the country known as the UNITED STATES of america. do some thinking then some research.

      October 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Normon

      Oh, quit whining. So someone wants to wear a head scarf, what's it to you? Does it affect your food at Country Buffet? No.
      So, some want to take a prayer break, fine, why do you care? As the video described, this is also the case for smoke breaks and coffee breaks.

      Dude, Man up, and get over it.

      (btw, I think she should be fired. The company changed the policy to have everyone clock out for non-work breaks, coffee, smoke, bathroom (I assume), and prayer. She is being dealt with fairly and should accept the rules or find another job.)

      October 22, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  13. TheRationale

    And she deserves special treatment why...?

    October 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  14. tallulah13

    I wonder if the smokers in her office have to clock out when they go have their cigarette breaks?

    October 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      You didn't watch the video did you Tall' ...you just went straight to posting huh?

      At the end of the video the reporter stated that Hertz is requiring the same now for all breaks.

      sigh ...Come on Tall' 🙂

      October 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Your right. I usually don't watch the videos because I'd rather read what it being said, and I regretted posting that the second I did. However, I believe that if there is a set company policy, everyone should be in compliance and those who fail to do so should at least be warned, and if they continue violating that policy, they should lose that job. That's all.

      October 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • David Johnson


      I am most grateful to god that he gave Mark to this blog. I always felt a moral compass was needed.


      October 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Tall' , don't tell him about my post about abortion. When my westburo baptist side had karate chopped and put to sleep my Berkley Liberal side.

      October 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  15. SciFiChickie

    What make this woman think that she is special & is allowed to stay on the clock to pray?

    If I wanted to pray, smoke, eat, drink, or even take a potty break, I have to CLOCK OUT!!!

    October 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  16. hippypoet

    hey you have to look at this from the employeers point of view – any one who takes a 5 minute break when they are not on there proper lunch break is one breaking the rules, and second by taking extra breaks they increase the work load of the other workers... totally unfair and wrong as per the agreement signed by most people when they get a job, to show up on time, properly dressed, clean, and to take a break when allowed or slotted. simple. Now if they had an agreement with the owner or employeer for the extra breaks them fine – but thats not the case here.. its not religious at all, its running a biz and it doesn't run right with all your workers taking breaks 5 times a day everyday plus there alotted lunch break.
    sry, i just don't care beyond this. i am glad the person was fired.

    October 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Dog, the dyslexic deity

      Don't they require English for poets ? It's "THEIR". Poet, shmoet. You're fired from being the hippypoet.

      October 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i care not for proper english... i had said this before, if you are able to unberstand what i said then thats all thats required. move on bud. And why do people keep attacking my name... is there some pre@ssumed idea of what a proper hippy is or is suppose to say or do? thats conformity, and very not hippy. so shoo with your sillies!

      October 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • hippypoet

      and if you'd like a peom all you need do is ask.

      October 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • jasonb

      Hey hippypoet, for once I agree with something you say. Same goes for people who take too many cigarette breaks, and I've heard supervisors council and warn employees over that. Does that mean we're discriminating against smokers? What a joke of an article and news organization.

      October 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • hippypoet

      you may find if you try to see past my youth shining thru and see what my over all point is you may agree more often. would you like a poem? I have a grand range – religious, s e x, death, pure enjoyment of life , satire, and plain humor... your choice.

      October 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • jasonb

      I won't disagree with you over that either. I'm actually inclined to believe that if we knew each other personally rather than just talking through these non-personal keyboards, we might be good friends, and able to tolerate each other's POV's better. The downside of the Internet – intolerance.

      October 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yeah, I gotta agree as well. This is a company thing and the slippery slope could be amazing. We have Muslim workers and time for prayer at lunch and maybe one break. The five times a day with a eight hour shift, the lunch prayer should cover it.

      On a Faithful side, if she is devoted then the clocking out to pray I would feel would be a honored sacrifice. God/Allah will see such sacrifice and make her whole.

      On the personal side .... ewww... I had to agree with hippypoet. I have to go and put my keyboard in the dishwasher to sanitize it 🙂

      October 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"i am glad the person was fired."

      ....well these days, with how hard it is to get a job, I am not glad when anyone loses their job. I understand the termination but not happy about it.

      Can I get a poem. I would like a ode to Speed Racer and his race with the Mammoth Car. 😀

      October 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • hippypoet

      LOL i don't believe i have anything on speed racer -however i have plenty of love poetry, a few political ones, a couple just for fun, only a few that dwell on me... one of them even makes me cry when i read it... but thats a no go for online give away... also i have some very good and deep religious ones, that even mean, they are true to the faith.

      here a showing – its a religious poem however – its called "the power of choice"

      With open arms,
      you embrace the spear.
      pointed towards death,
      what left do you have to fear,
      with flames below,
      and heavens above,
      now its time to show
      who you truly love.

      any thoughts? i love feedback.

      October 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • *frank*

      is the spear a phallic symbol?

      October 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • hippypoet

      no... no phallic symbol intended... it was a poem about the last thoughts of joshua who everyone else ignorantly called jesus.
      if it went down the way its said to have, then i would think that some thougths went thru his head... he knew he was going to die, it was common practice for the romans to spear the man on the cross to make sure he was infact dead, and having known all of this i came out with those words. they are not my words but the pens power to show feeling in ink. I have a so called gift of automatic writting – i don't mean to write poetry it just comes out that way. I wrote a flawless Shakespearian poem in less then 2 minutes during the span of a commerical break while watching "A knights tale" – true story!

      October 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • asrael

      Shouldn't that be "hippiepoet"? Or are you a poet with big hips...?

      October 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • hippypoet

      no hippies are from the 60's... i am not, and therefore as a sign of respect i use the handle hippy and being a poet i complete it as hippypoet. You see now?

      October 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  17. Reality

    How she can get her job back in less than two minutes or how to prevent it from happening again:

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    October 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  18. dog, the dyslexic deity

    The only question is whether she knew she was to clock out, and back in for/from breaks. If she knew, and didn't, fine. If there is no policy, and they fired her "capriciously", the employer is in trouble.

    October 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  19. *frank*

    I like Kix cereal.

    October 22, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • *frank*

      It's not as good when it becomes soggy, so you have to eat it at a moderately brisk pace for the best crunchy texture and taste. But not too rapidly, or you may choke to death.

      October 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  20. jasonb

    If my boss caught me (a christian) taking breaks for formal prayer and not either clocking out or making up for those breaks with either coming in earlier or working later, or if those breaks hold up someone else's ability to get their daily work done, then I should expect to be fired.

    This has nothing to do with them being Muslim. I'd gladly work with them, heck I did when I was in the military and deployed. Most are very nice people. Just like the anti-bullying movement has been hijacked by the perverts to force their choices on the rest of us, this is being hijacked by the liberal weak-minded fool reporters at CNN/NBC to pervert the real issue of irresponsible workers.

    October 22, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Mark


      Very well said. Simply because she's a Muslim, doesn't make this a "religious" issue. Is common sense a thing of the past or what? The real question is why would she even EXPECT that she shouldn't have to clock in and out for doing personal business on company time. DUH!!! Now...as for being fired. That's a different matter. Most employers would simply inform (or remind) someone of the rules, and give them a couple of chances. I personally wouldn't fire anyone unless it was just obvious that they had no interest whatsoever in following the rules.

      October 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.