Columbia University is being threatened by a former employee. The Muslim woman claims that her rights were violated when her employers found it difficult to accommodate her frequent prayer breaks. After a school investigation found her claims to be baseless, the disgruntled employee filed a complaint with the city.
The problem with the grand liberal immigrant dream is that huge populations exist who have no desire to assimilate. Conservative Muslims hope to bend our society to suit their beliefs.
“There’s a general New York law that requires an employee to accommodate a sabbath … And if there is a (University) policy of accommodating religious needs, that would strengthen her claims of discrimination,” Larry Carey, an employment attorney based in New York, told the Columbia Spectator. “I find it surprising that there wouldn’t be more willingness to accommodate, at a liberal institution of all places, in the chaplain’s office.”
The anonymous employee’s accusations are leveled at university Chaplain Jewelnel Davis. The complaint alleges the chaplain showed a discriminatory bias against Islam. If the city believes her claims the university may have to pay a $250,000 fine.
Western Muslims have been deepening the fight for prayer at work. Who cares if it inconveniences their employers? Muslims apparently believe that the world should cater to its whims.
“Praying at work involves leaving the cutting room floor, changing out of a blood-spattered frock, and returning after five minutes. The timing of the prayer during the plant’s second shift can change with the seasons and requires some flexibility in the plant’s operations to accommodate,” NPR reports.
American meatpacking plants are inundated with foreign labor. Multiple plant workers have brought prayer lawsuits against their employers. A meat packing facility thrives on efficiency, yet bosses are criticized if they can’t accommodate a Muslim employee’s five prayer breaks.
“There is no lawful reason for any company to stop Muslims from praying when previously that company had allowed such prayers in a manner that did not impact the workplace,” The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Minnesota chapter Civil Rights Director Amir Malik said.
No one can decide what impacts her business better than a business owner. Most companies don’t want to pay for their employees to take multiple extended breaks. If a Muslim worker requires that much flexibility they should find a job that suit their needs instead of one that just pays the bills.
“Unless they can prove ‘undue hardship,’ and that is definitely what is at the heart of the matter,” then the policy change is illegal,” Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communications director, told The Christian Science Monitor. “What one company thinks is an undue hardship is not actually. It is always a matter of debate and compromise.”
Who then, is the arbiter of what constitutes “undue hardship?
A Cargill meatpacking plant became the center of national attention after a swarm of Somalian employees abruptly quit. They claimed that the multiple prayer breaks a day allowed by supervisors were not enough.
“Cargill’s decision to ban prayer in its Fort Morgan facility came at a heavy price for its Black, Somali, Muslim workforce,” the employees’ attorneys Qusair Mohamedbhai and Laura Wolf of the Denver law firm said. “These hardworking refugees were reliable, committed, and loyal to Cargill. When Cargill refused to allow them to pray during their breaks, it did so with complete disregard for the destructive impact it would have on their lives.”
Cargill employees are running a business, not a charity. And if even they weren’t, executives insist that they never stopped workers from taking prayer breaks.
“We have had a longstanding commitment to inclusion and diversity, and respect for religious freedom and expression,” a Cargill spokesman said.
“Nobody was ever told that prayer was abolished. Or that prayer could not be accommodated… There are times, specific times, when because of staffing levels an individual request for prayer may not be granted at a specific time on a specific day.”
A ruling has not yet been reached.