Amazon employees file religious discrimination complaint

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Three Amazon employees have filed a federal lawsuit against their employer for workplace discrimination and retaliation. Workers in California might want to know the details of the case as it raises issues of workers’ rights that are applicable nationwide. The three employees, who are Muslim women, were working for an Amazon warehouse. They allegedly feared taking breaks to pray because they thought they would be issued write-ups. One of the women was so afraid, according to the complaint, that she broke her fast for Ramadan and stopped taking breaks for ablutions or even to use the restroom.

The complaint also alleges that the online retailer did not promote Muslim employees from East Africa and Somalia, and that it gave better assignments to white workers. The women claim to have been retaliated against by management after they joined a protest effort against the labor conditions at the Amazon warehouse.

A spokesperson for Amazon said the company pays employees for prayer breaks less than 20 minutes long and that employees can request longer, unpaid prayer breaks. The spokesperson went on to say that Amazon has meetings with Muslim workers and holds diversity and inclusion training sessions to prepare for Ramadan.

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that white workers were given more and better opportunities to grow with the company. She further alleged that the same opportunities were denied to black Muslim workers. In a case where an employee faces workplace discrimination, they may be entitled to monetary compensation or a change in work circumstances. A lawyer with experience in employment law could help a worker who has been wronged by examining the facts of the situation and attempting to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party.