Arden Hills Manufacturer Struggles with “Reasonable Accommodation” of Employees’ Beliefs

November 23, 2005

Source: Star Tribune

On November 23, 2005 the Star Tribune reported, "It was a modern manipulation of time -- the end of daylight savings this fall -- that created a problem with ancient Muslim prayers at an Arden Hills electronics manufacturer. For Ibrahim Roble and his Muslim co-workers at Celestica, the clocks' 'falling back' Oct. 30 brought darkness an hour earlier and pulled their sunset prayer -- the fourth of five every day -- into their work hours. Roble says the group came up with a suggestion to allow them to add that prayer at work without costing the company any time. The company says it came up with a better plan that asked for a little flexibility from both sides. But the national Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington said the company plan is not good enough, and it might be filing a series of religious discrimination complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission... The law on this -- both state and federal -- is pretty simple, enforcers say: Employers must accommodate employees' religious beliefs, as long as the requests are reasonable and do not create a hardship for the company. The questions, always, are what's reasonable and what's a hardship?"