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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. LEN

    We all know what is coming, a big law suit against Hertz. The ansewer to that in the future is .Don't hire any muslums. Unfair to Muslums maybe, but they are being unfair to Hertz. They brougt this on themselves, so to damn bad if they don't like it.

    October 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  2. Arthur Smegma

    She has no standing for a lawsuit. It was a clearly stated policy, she violated it, she got fired.

    What arrogance religious people have to think that employers must pay them to pray!

    Religious people just LOVE to play the victim. Poor persecuted babies!

    October 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Disgusted and fed up!

      OCCUPY HERTZ!

      October 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Disgusted and fed up!

      Thats true, people who don't have substantial grounds for litigation never sue. And even if they did, they'd never win!

      October 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Ummmm

      You might want to look at the actual law. You are required to accommodate your employees' religious practices and beliefs unless doing so would cause your business too much hardship.

      October 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Disgusted and fed up!

      "ummmm"? Someone stole your teleprompter?

      Well stealing is probably okay as long as one is practicing their non-Christian beliefs. So dont worry 'bout it.

      October 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  3. DC

    Boo-Hoo. I would get fired also for the same thing. Again, Boo-Hoo!

    October 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  4. Disgusted and fed up!

    Welcome to America. Now sue the big corporation and you won't have to work anymore!

    October 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  5. Rob

    I have no problem firing someone over this – not because she was taking prayer breaks, but because she wasn't clocking out to do it. If employees want to pray, then they should be able to do so. But if they are going to stop working in order to take a "prayer break", then they shouldn't be expecting their employers to pay them for that time. An employee who continually violates such a policy shouldn't be treated differently than anyone else who does personal stuff on company time, in violation of company policy, just because that personal stuff is religious in nature. And I don't care what their religion is either – apply the rule evenly and equally, and there's no issue at all as far as I'm concerned.

    October 23, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • CanOnTo

      100% agree.

      October 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  6. James

    Even Atheist Hate Muslims the most.I think the only reason theist hate anti-theist is because we hate all delusions of reality

    October 23, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Pete

      Dogma is dogma. A person's spiritual beliefs are not their dogma. A dogma is something that prevents others from seeing different points of view. This can apply to any person in the world, but I personally have sympathy for people who cannot practice the most basic human characteristic of all; empathy.

      October 23, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • James

      Pete Muslims want To living in the 21 century damn near the way the catholic church Lived In the 13 Century.Whats bad is Their moral compass is an ancient book Full of flawed logic

      October 23, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      That is a lot of assumption that everyone is hating. What about the Faithful and Atheist that do not go around hating everyone?

      October 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  7. Pete

    It only takes a couple minutes to pray, and if it makes them a better worker - ie: a happier employee, then the smart thing to do was just drop it.

    Lots of people take paid smoking breaks at all sorts of businesses, because it only takes a couple minutes to smoke a cigarette.

    It is Hertz' right to fire these people, but from a business standpoint, it would have been far better to keep happy and well-trained employees and let them pray.

    I am biased because I used to work with Muslims who would pray during work, and it took me a little while to get used to it, but after a while, I began to see that they were very happy and productive workers.

    October 23, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Consensus

      How happy were the other workers who had to pick up the slack when this one went to pray? In some positions, leaving one's work to go and pray puts an undue burden on others-can you envision an elementary classroom teacher who leaves her classroom to go and pray? Who will step in to watch her students?

      October 23, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • CanOnTo

      It only takes a couple of minutes to pray? OK, fair enough, I'll bite. Since equality is paramount, I guess it will be OK that I proclaim a belief in some form of deity, let's say a Flying Spaghetti Monster, and pray a few minutes a few times at work. Now, who is to say that a belief in a Christian or Muslim god has any more merit than a belief in FSM? There is absolutely no proof to support either claim, hence allowing one irrational belief but not the other would be a discrimination. The solution: leave your religion at home. And if you're not able to do so, then you must face the consequences. I am sorry, but you should've thought twice before moving from Somalia to a secular Western country.

      October 23, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • John Richardson

      The company cited fairness to other workers as one of the grounds for going to a strict clock out policy. So how many people are you going to make unhappy to make one person happy?

      And the union leaders in the video should ask themselves the same thing. Fellow workers are often the MOST unhappy over the slackers amongst them. When unions automatically side with the worker against management in a case like this, they tend to alienate other workers. When unions do their annual boohooing every labor day about the steep fall off in unionized labor, this is one of many issues they should challenge themselves with. People don't want to work for tyrannical management, but they also don't want to work in financialyl unviable slack-o-cracries where everything is based on seniority and who's the biggest bellyacher. Believe it or not, some people actually believe in the work they do and want to see it done well by a committed, competent staff of fellow workers.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  8. ern

    WAKE UP people,Europe has a huge problem with muslums and now they have warned us not to let them take over us(look it up on line),some countries have different laws for them which is bull.They should not get any special treatment because of religon.Whats next muslum, islamic judges to hear there gripes????Get smart now people,investigate what I have written you will be shocked.

    October 23, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • HellBent

      Yes, we should definitely heed Europe's warning. Just look at the radical muslim recently who went off the deep end in Norway as an example for the violence this religion causes and the threat to the peaceful Christian Europeans way of life.

      Oh wait, that guy wasn't a muslim...

      October 23, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Pete

      Are you suggesting we round up all the Muslims and put them in concentration camps? Is that what we do with people we disagree with?

      I suggest you go meet some Muslims and find what you have in common with them, because you will find that they are very honorable and trustworthy people, and they make good friends.

      I've never had a Muslim try to convert me to Islam, let alone preach to me... I can't say the same about Christians though.

      October 23, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • James

      HellBent You should Really see how they are pushing Their views In Europe.when the Muslims say they are peaceful that it is s false front

      October 23, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • HellBent

      @James, do you have any actual evidence of this? And I do hope that you're not generalizing millions of people based upon the actions of a few dozen.

      October 23, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  9. Reality

    Only for our sister and brother Muslims:

    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 23, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  10. Ellis Dee

    Since religion is a mental illness, it is cause for dismissal.

    October 23, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Steve r

      I agree

      October 23, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Val

      it is delusional, but then so many are. it is grounds for dismissal if she thinks that she should be "paid to pray" instead of doing what she is hired for. When will people stop trying to make an issue over where they get to pray?? Pray at home, in your car, in your place of worship or on a park bench......or better yet, if you are going to do it in inappropriate places, for crying out loud, do it in silence and don't bring attention to yourself. This kind of thing is clearly designed to involve a lawsuit and an award of money and very divisive. Of course it HAS to be a Muslim again, as usual.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  11. William F. Cissel

    Making up special rules or accomodations for some–not all–and not required by law is discriminatory and a recipe for disaster. What does the employment contract say? In this case, it would have been appropriate for the observant muslim to identify religious obligations at the time of the job interview. If a resolution based on law (and not an ex post facto "politically correct" expectation) that accomodated the needs of the job applicant AND the company's right to satisfactory performance and adherence to schedules in order to get things done could not be arrived at, then other avenues of employment needed to be considered. Simple!

    October 23, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  12. V1NAY

    Anybody who wants to pray or perform religious rituals on the job should realize that you either do it in lieu of break time or take less money. Work is work, everything else do on your own time

    October 23, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  13. wall st

    Cell phones and Blackberries should be banned in the workplace.........so much wasted time & productivity.

    October 23, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  14. MB

    Bottom line is I should be tolerant of your beliefs, but should not have to pay you for you right to worship. If I do pay for smoke breaks or worship breaks, that is a benefit I should be free to offer and not legally bound to provide. If your worship impairs you ability to do the job, than you have to decide whether God or the Job is more important. That is the price of freedom.

    October 23, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  15. Faye

    The question is whether or not a business should pay for personal religious breaks. Hertz gave them all the option of returning to work as long as they clocked out for their prayer times. From a business standpoint, it wasn't an unreasonable request. It is apparent from the article that the issue was not that the employees wished to pray (if it were I'd say Hertz should pay out the wazoo). It was the fact that they didn't clock out to do so. It's interesting because I'm guessing that if this situation were reversed in a Muslim country and a non-Muslime attempted to do the same there, I seriously doubt that person would have a job and would likely find himself in a lot of trouble.

    October 23, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  16. Sigh

    Good report: two sentence, generic link, fails to report on the fact that employers have the right to fire employees for billing non-billable activities but its presence implies Hertz behaved illegally. I think I smell a Pulitzer, and a libel suit.

    October 23, 2011 at 3:43 am |
  17. Central Scrutinizer

    Americans are so hung up man. If she is a good employee, let the her pray. If she sucks, can her a-sss. As a business man, I just want good employees. I don't care about the rest. R U making my company better, great! Do what you want. Screw corporate BS. Chill man!

    October 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The only thing is that it was causing internal issues and why as a good buisness model they made everyone clock out for all breaks.

      October 23, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  18. john

    New laws must be passed creating more legal rights for non muslims. As a non muslim who finds islam disgusting and insulting to females, I should have the legal right NOT to hire a muslim !

    October 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      No, you shouldn't have the right not to hire a muslim but you certainly should have the right to tell them that they get no special treatment in regards to their prayer rituals....that they get their 2-15 minutes breaks and one 30 minute lunch just as everyone else gets.

      October 23, 2011 at 6:17 am |
    • john

      I disagree ! I should have the legal right not to hire a muslim if their beliefs make my clients and female staff members uncomfortable.

      October 23, 2011 at 7:14 am |
    • John Richardson

      Evangelical Christians make some people uncomfortable. Let the people who are so prejudiced that they can't stand to be around certain other kinds of people pack their bigotry away or leave.

      But TruthPrevails got it right. No special privileges for any group!

      October 23, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @John (and not John Richardson): It falls under discrimination to say you wouldn't hire a person due to them being muslim, that is no different than an Atheist/Jehovah/Christian/Hindu, etc saying they wouldn't hire someone because the don't agree with their religious point of view. It is only when their belief interferes with their work that you get the right to put your foot down. I sincerely hope you don't run a business b/c sooner or later you will find yourself in front of a human rights tribunal and losing miserably for discriminating based on religion.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • HellBent

      @john – if you don't like the laws of this nation please feel free to go found your own theocracy.

      October 23, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Dog, the dyslexic deity

      No, you don't have the right to do anything to anyone else, based ONLY on what YOU find "disgusting" I think YOU are "disgusting". I should have the right to keep you off these boards.Where does THAT end ? What if you think gays and blacks are "disgusting" ?

      October 23, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  19. kimsland

    What a lazy Muslim.
    Muslims need to be aware we don't ride donkeys to work here, and 'prayer' time can be taken to your local comedy show.
    Good luck with being losers.
    Sack the cow.

    October 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Muslims need to be aware we don't ride donkeys to work here,"

      Have you seen the buildings and advances in Dubai? Parts of Dubai and a few other Muslim cities and the question would be if we ride donkeys to work. 🙁

      October 23, 2011 at 2:59 am |
    • Muneef

      Kim..

      One never knows when he will be obliged to ride a donkey to work...! Can say though with the way the world is heading financially and politicly we might be not to far from that back to our modern caves the (Concrete Jugles)... Guess those in total dependance on electronics and webs will be strongly hit than those still use donkeys for transportations and write in scriptures of skins and craft papers...? One's never know...

      Let me just ask why those Muslims working be asked to accept that their breaks of prayers or smoking be deducted and granted to the working person covering up the job... Would that have made any difference ?

      October 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  20. IslamInsanity

    The insanity of Islam in America continues. They know that they can not take America by force, so they will try to subvert it from within. Refusing to remove their headware, demanding special privileges. In some places Muslim taxi drivers will not give people rides if they have pork products in their groceries. I am sorry, this is still America, you will live by our rules not yours!

    October 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Don't Forget To Turn On Limbaugh So That You Can Find Out What Your Opinions Are

      Yes, that terrible problem of Muslim taxi drivers refusing to take people with pork in their groceries, it's just tearing this country apart.

      October 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • wall st

      RIGHT ON!

      October 23, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • Pete

      And it was only 60 years ago that blacks and whites didn't share buses and taxis at all.

      Are you suggesting that the State should dictate the conditions for market transactions? Then I would call you a socialist.

      There are no "implicit" rules in America dictating anything of the sort.

      October 23, 2011 at 11:20 am |
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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.