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Fired Muslim Workers Hire Counsel To Fight Dell

A group of Somalis who claim they were fired for praying on the job at a Dell plant in Nashville, Tenn., has hired an Islamic civil rights and advocacy group.

InformationWeek Staff

March 16, 2005

1 Min Read

A group of Somalis who claim they were fired for praying on the job at a Dell Computer plant in Nashville, Tenn. has hired an Islamic civil rights and advocacy group.

Of the 30 employees who left work at the plant, 21 have signed legal counsel retainer agreements with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The employees maintain they were dismissed, because they acted against efforts by Dell management to keep them from their sunset prayers.

Published reports stated that neither Dell nor the Spherion outsourcing and temp company that hired the Somalis would comment on the complaints. However, a Dell spokesman, commenting on the firm's general practices, said Dell has a policy of accommodating religious beliefs.

"When granting time off during a shift on a manufacturing line would be disruptive," the Dell spokesman said, "we have worked out reasonable accommodations, such as a tag-out procedure when employees can leave the line to pray and return, allowing the next employee time to leave the line to pray."

CAIR asked Wednesday that the workers be rehired. CAIR, which said it has helped solve hundreds of religious accommodation cases for American Muslim workers, added that hundreds of Muslims have contacted Dell after being informed of the situation.

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