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Federal complaint filed against Ariens Company

A view inside Ariens Company's manufacturing facility in Brillion, Aug. 11, 2015. (WLUK/Bill Miston)

BRILLION -- Four months after Ariens Company began enforcing its break policy, it is now the focus of a federal complaint.

"Prayer is an obligatory and central aspect of these workers' core religious beliefs," said Maha Sayed, a spokesperson for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

CAIR filed the complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.

"Ariens' unilateral and arbitrary decision to revoke the company's break policy solely with respect to religiously motivated requests and it's complete and unwilling to engage in an interactive process with the aggrieved Muslim workers about its accommodation policies violates Tile VII and EEOC guidelines. "

Ariens' break policy allows for two scheduled breaks, each lasting 10 minutes.

"Muslims pray at five prescribed times each day which generally occur at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and nighttime," Sayed said.

Ariens said since the company started enforcing its prayer policy, 11 Muslim employees were fired, 15 resigned and 27 still work at Ariens.

In a statement, Ariens said "It's disappointing that a group based in Washington D.C. is filing an EEOC complaint." It goes on to say "Wet respects the workers' faith and we respects the work they do at Ariens Company,"

Now that the federal complaints have been filed, the EEOC and the NLRB will conduct and investigation to see if discrimimation did take place.

Those investigations could take months.


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