Jan 14 2015
MINNESOTASTAN: They say they were mocked, harassed, demeaned, singled out, and then forced out or fired, all because of their nationality and religion. No, actually they were fired for taking too many prayer breaks during working hours.
KSTP Six Muslims from Somalia filed a class action lawsuit against Hertz last month, accusing the rental car company of widespread discrimination at its Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport location.
The former Hertz employees say they were happy at Hertz until management changes were made in 2007. They contend that for three years after that, they were subjected to countless instances of discrimination large and small. According to the lawsuit, the keeping of two refrigerators—one in which Muslims from Somalia and Ethiopia were allowed to put their food, and one where they weren’t—is just one of many examples.
“I try my best and I do everything. I’m one of the best employees,” said Nadif Ketibe, who worked at Hertz for six years. “I know I’ve been disrespected and I’ve been abused,” Ketibe added. Ketibe is one of six former employees suing Hertz over their treatment at the airport location.
The lawsuit states Somali Muslims, “… were regularly harassed for praying … treated disrespectfully, subjected to discriminatory and demeaning statements … mocked (and) disciplined more severely.” “Insulting our religion, our books, our races and everything,” Ketibe said.
The lawsuit also quotes various Hertz employees as saying, “If you pray continuously you will make us lose money and no Muslims will be hired,” “Find people who are not Muslim so we can hire them,” “Your religion is lying. The Quran is lying. You’re a liar,” and, “This guy’s hatred of Americans is just below the surface.”
One of their attorneys says several Muslim workers were forced out or fired between 2007 and 2010.
“The way I lost the job – it was unfair, it was discrimination,” said Abdirashid Mohammed, who worked at Hertz for ten years. For Mohammed, the loss of a job also meant the loss of health insurance for his three children. “Later on, I lost all of them, and…” Mohammed said, before being overcome with emotion. (Oh, Boo Hoo)
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More reasons why you should NEVER HIRE A MUSLIM