Posted at 11:30 p.m. on December 7, 2017
The Brillion News
GREEN BAY – The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Legal Defense Fund has filed a federal lawsuit against the Ariens Company, saying the Brillion company violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and a state law when it terminated Muslim employees who refused to comply with company rules regarding work breaks.
CAIR claimed that Ariens had to allow Islamic employees special breaks from work to pray.
The suit, filed on December 6 at the federal court in Green Bay, demands a federal jury trial and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, accommodation including back pay for the fired workers, plus interest, and attorney fees. It also wants the terminated workers rehired and compensation for “emotional harm.”
But the company, in a statement issued Thursday morning, said the Islamic rights group has no new issues:
“We were surprised and disappointed to learn that the Council on American-Islamic Relations, located Washington D.C, elected filed a complaint alleging religious discrimination against Ariens Company. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated those allegations and dismissed CAIR’s EEOC complaint in September. In addition, Ariens continues to proudly employ and hire many individuals from the local Somali community. We believe that the EEOC’s dismissal decision was correct and that the we will prevail in this matter.:
An in-depth story on the lawsuit will appear in the December 14 print edition of the newspaper.