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Amazon Workers Allege Religious Discrimination

June 13th, 2019

Religious discrimination or job segregation because of a perceived customer’s preference is prohibited in the workplace, according to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This federal law is designed to protect workers from discrimination or harassment if they are a member of an organized religion or have a strong moral belief.

A year long dispute between the Seattle-based company, Amazon, and a group of East African workers has recently escalated, where three Somali women alleged that Amazon had discriminated against them because of their Muslim religion, created hostile work conditions, and retaliated against them because of their involvement in a protest. Muslim Advocates, a nonprofit legal firm representing the three women, requested the EEOC to investigate Amazon in hopes to hold them accountable for their mistreatment of the East African workers.

Advocate Groups Become Involved

Amazon Workers Allege Religious DiscriminationIn 2016, Amazon opened a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, which depended on a large immigrant population to fill warehouse positions.  Immigrants from East Africa filled many of these positions. This group would then be helped by the Awood Center, a nonprofit organization designed to help Muslim and East African workers receive fair and equal treatment. They would be the first organized sect of Amazon workers to negotiate fair treatment and pay with Amazon. With the help of the Awood center, a large protest was held in December for the mistreatment of East African workers outside an Amazon warehouse.

Alleged Mistreatment

The three Somali women alleged mistreatment and retaliation from Amazon because of their participation in the December protest. In a summarization of their claims, they state that they received difficult work assignments and improper warnings that led to their firing; all of which happened after one of their managers learned of their participation in the protest. One of the women claimed to have seen one of her managers looking at her social media posts, and another claimed that her manager was taking pictures of her on his personal phone. Another woman alleged that she had personal phone calls recorded by a manager.

Amazon allows a 20-minute break for prayer for their Muslim workers, as per the state law, but expect the same fulfillment rate, which has stressed and overwhelmed their workers. Missing the fulfillment rate can cause write-ups and firings, which created the hostile environment the women alleged, preventing them from praying and practicing their religion.

Bucks County Employment Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Defend Those Suffering from Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

If you think your employer is preventing you from performing your job or harassing you because of your religion, the Bucks County employment discrimination lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. can help. Our experienced lawyers will defend your right to practice your religion and will help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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