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Amazon created a hostile environment for Muslim workers

Amazon is accused of religious discrimination and retaliation by three Muslim workers in Minnesota, who say the tech giant denied them time and space to pray and regularly assigned them less favorable work than their counterparts. according to a complaint filed last week by the federal government.

Amazon created a hostile environment for Muslim workers.

The women workers, all black women in Somalia, said that Amazon had created a hostile environment for Muslim workers in his warehouse in Shakopee, Minnesota. They allege that Somali and East African workers were denied promotions and training for white workers and relegated to the next rank. difficult tasks, such as packing heavy objects.

“Amazon is one of Minnesota’s largest employers and relies on these workers to earn billions of dollars, but it is refusing these basic adaptations as the law requires,” said Nabihah Maqbool, a lawyer for Muslim Advocates, an organization nonprofit that represents women. “Our customers are monitored in their warehouses so that every day they are fired when they go to work.”

She added that many of the workers in the facility came from East Africa, while the “vast majority” of managers were white.

Amazon, based in Seattle, has been repeatedly criticized for treating its workers, especially in its 110 warehouses, where physical demands can be exhausting.

Last year, the starting salary was raised to $ 15 an hour as a result of criticism from Senator Bernie Sanders (Italy) and others who said that too many of its workers were counting on food stamps, Medicaid and others. government programs to make ends meet. Amazon has more than 250,000 hourly workers in its US warehouses, making it one of the largest employers in the country.

The lawsuit in Minnesota follows another recent report according to which at least seven women have filed lawsuits against Amazon, accusing the company of discrimination and retaliation related to the pregnancy. Workers allege that Amazon has not accommodated such demands as longer breaks in the bathroom and fewer uninterrupted hours of work, according to CNET, which has reviewed the lawsuits. The seven women were also fired after informing the directors of their pregnancy, CNET said.

Amazon has disputed these claims: “It is absolutely wrong to say that Amazon would fire any employee because of pregnancy,” a spokeswoman told CNET. “We are an equal opportunity employer.”

In Minnesota, workers fear taking breaks to pray or go to the toilet as they were under pressure to meet certain quotas. Failing to make these “rates”, they said in their complaint, could result in a written warning that could eventually lead to their dismissal. The women also said that the lack of air conditioning at the warehouse made fasting difficult during Ramadan.

Two of the three women who have lodged a complaint with the Commission for Equal Opportunities in Employment continue to work at Amazon; one was “constructively unloaded” at the end of December.

“Heavy items make the rate so hard to get,” said one of the women in an email. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she is still working for the company and fears retaliation. “I do not even have a second to talk to the associate next to me, take a break or drink water. When I go to pray, I worry about what will happen with the rate.

Amazon spokeswoman Ashley Robinson said that prayer breaks of less than 20 minutes were paid, as required by law, and that employees could request longer unpaid prayer breaks “for which productivity expectations would be adjusted.

The workers also accused Amazon of retaliating against them illegally after participating in an event in December to protest against discrimination at the warehouse. The three women reported “noticing a retaliation harassment campaign” that included more difficult tasks and increased monitoring. One worker stated that supervisors had started recording her daily video conversations.

“Amazon’s message to Somali workers is clear: ever since they protested against the discriminatory measures taken by Amazon, Amazon m

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