A former Deloitte Consulting employee has filed suit against the firm and Wal Mart claiming that, “his civil rights were violated when he was fired for exercising his religious right to pray and clean himself beforehand in a ritual known as [Wudu]”
After the jump, Hairballs (yes) has the story.
According to the lawsuit, Deloitte assigned Memon to a consulting project at Wal-Mart’s corporate office in Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2007. Memon claims he would wash up in the restroom before going to pray in an area designated by Wal-Mart, such as the parking lot or in a hallway. The whole process took about five minutes or so.
…the lawsuit states, Wal-Mart employees began to get upset with Memon for using the bathroom to sprinkle water on himself and Memon was told not to perform the “Wazu.”…Memon’s boss at Deloitte suggested that Memon pray at the hotel. However, this was not practical because it meant driving more than half an hour for each prayer instead of just taking a short five-minute break.
It didn’t take long until Memon was then taken off the Wal-Mart project. He claims that a Deloitte project manager told him that other colleagues would also be removed from the job, but in the end he was the only one.
According to the lawsuit, the project manager told Memon that, “Americans do not deal with Islamic practices and clients particularly in the South do not understand these religious practices.” The manager also allegedly said that Memon “is putting himself at risk” by practicing his religion. Deloitte then fired Memon, citing “poor performance,” the lawsuit states.
Having never been to Arkansas, we can’t really give any first hand account on the populace’s tolerance for, well, anything but we do know a few people that went to school in Arkansas and they are very nice, tolerant people.
Since Hairballs wasn’t interested in Deloitte’s statement, we went ahead and got it:
“The allegations in this case are false and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously. Deloitte is deeply committed to all aspects of workplace diversity and inclusion, including expression of religious beliefs, and is proud to be regularly recognized as a leader in this area.”
Based on the Green Dot’s statement, we’re assuming Mr. Memon was let go for performance reasons, which as you all know, are subject to change at any time.
Wal-Mart And An Accounting Firm Fire A Muslim For Praying, Suit Says [Hairballs]