The Complainant alleged that the Respondent subjected her to disparate treatment and wrongful termination on the basis of her religion, and also subjected her to reprisal discrimination in violation of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance (MCRO). The Complainant is of Islamic faith, and as part of her belief must pray five times a day. The Complainant worked on a production line with scheduled breaks. Some of the scheduled breaks did not coincide with her prayer times. Because of this conflict, the Complainant requested that the Respondent allow her to pray outside of the scheduled break times, but her request was denied. After her request was denied, she took an “unauthorized” prayer break to pray. She was then suspended and terminated from employment soon after. The Respondent argued that the Complainant’s request would cause an undue hardship.
The Department found the Respondent’s reasons to be pretextual.
The Respondent agreed to pay the Complainant $21,000 in monetary relief, to remove any negative information from her personnel file, to provide training to its management and human resource staff regarding religious accommodations and to revise its polies regarding religious accommodations.