Muslims Leave Company Over Prayer-on-Job Policy; CEO Reacts to Backlash
Dozens of Muslim employees have left a Wisconsin-based snow blower and lawn mower manufacturer after the company changed its prayer-on-the-job policy.
Ariens Company CEO Dan Ariens appeared on "Varney & Co." today to discuss the backlash he's received.
Ariens explained that his company was rapidly growing, so they hired a group of Muslim Somali immigrants. The group of employees eventually grew to 53.
He explained that the company's policy is two ten-minute breaks per shift, and these employees were using extra time to pray.
"We tried to work and accommodate that," Ariens said. "Now, we've found that it's become more of a disruption to production and to our team environment, and so we've just had to get back to our policy of two ten-minute breaks per shift."
He added it's important to point out that they did not terminate any employees. They merely had a discussion with the employees - and in some cases, their English interpreters - to explain the policy.
He said that the language barrier and the media immediately running with the story have made it into a bigger deal than it really is.
"We want to talk with these employees, and we'd like them to continue to be employees."
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