Muslim Amazon Workers Demand Prayer Room

Security workers at Amazon's headquarters filed a lawsuit against the company on the grounds that the company has failed to make proper accommodations for people of the Islamic faith.

Muslim employees of Security Industry Specialists, the firm that patrols Amazon's headquarters, filed the suit claiming that the company's prayer rooms were not made available to lower-paid officers who worked at the company's offices in Seattle, Washington. 

The suit also claimed that Amazon and SIS both have a history of not adequately accommodating Muslim employees. 

SIS president Tom Seltz denied the allegations in an email to ThinkProgress.

"Our employees assigned to Amazon have always been permitted to access space (when available) to pray on breaks, even before dedicated prayer rooms were formally introduced," Seltz said. "Before prayer rooms were introduced, employees generally used a vacant conference room or quiet room, when available. This has been the case for the past four years (since we’ve been at Amazon), and the recent addition of dedicated prayer rooms has just made access even easier. We count ourselves as fortunate that Amazon extends this accommodation to our employees."

One SIS employee told ThinkProgress that managers often tell Muslim employees to pray in other places rather than a prayer room.

"Some employees are told, well, go to your car [to pray]," the employee said. "Some don't even have a car."

Many readers applauded Amazon for not allowing the security personnel to use the prayer rooms as they would for other employees.

"Stand ur ground Amazon you need to make money and have employees who will work hard for the company,,,,,they need to find the time to do there thing...its not Amazon's responsibilty," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.

"If they should pray, do it during company sanctioned breaks and lunch time. If more praying is needed, do it after work. As for praying rooms, that will be a problem with all the current screaming and yelling about transgender bathrooms. Prayer can be done anywhere. Muslims should be grateful that the US government allows them to build Mosques,whereas new Church building is not allowed in most Muslim countries," another added. 

"Wish the rest of businesses in America will follow Amazon and realize that this prayer times can be made up at the end of a work day and the demands the muslims are making are full of hot air! No need for prayers rooms at schools or work place can do it at anytime time any place they just want to force Americans to give them their way!! Time to get smart and not give in!!!" another wrote.