Muslims reach settlement with Dell on workplace prayer

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced that Muslim contract employees at a Dell Inc. plant in Nashville, Tenn., have reached a settlement on issues related to a recent dispute over prayer in the workplace.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the 31 Muslim employees, who left work last month in a disagreement over Islamic prayers, will be reinstated, receive back pay and be granted continued religious accommodation. Managers will also receive additional training on existing religious accommodation policies and practices. Other terms of the settlement will not be made public.

Announcement of the settlement came following a meeting today between representatives of CAIR, Dell, the Muslim workers, the Nashville Metro Human Relations Commission, and Spherion Corp., the company that provided the workers to Dell. (In a meeting on Saturday, most of the Muslim workers retained CAIR as their legal counsel.)

“Muslims Say Dell Forbade Them to Pray at Work”

“We are pleased with both the terms of the settlement and with the cooperative attitude of all parties in the negotiations,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We thank everyone from around the world who contacted Dell to express their support for reasonable religious accommodation in the workplace.”

Awad also thanked the Nashville Metro Human Relations Commission and local Muslim community leaders for their efforts to help achieve a mutually-agreeable settlement.

“This settlement can be used as model by other production facilities that employ large numbers of Muslim workers,” said CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, who also participated in today’s negotiations.

“I would like to thank God first of all and then CAIR for helping us resolve this and other important local cases,” said Abdishakur Ibrahim, Imam of Al-Farooq Mosque in Nashville. “CAIR is always there when we need them.”

CAIR news release, 18 March 2005

Update:  See “‘Sheikdown’: The Islamisation of a corporation – CAIR intimidates Dell with civil rights suit – Muslims demand prayer on company grounds”, Militant Islam Monitor, 23 March 2005