You would get wide agreement if you were to put forward the argument that an employer has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for its employees. In fact, companies that fail to do so are subject to considerable fines as well as lawsuits. We’re not in the same world as the factories of 100 years ago.
But what happens when an employee insists that, due to religious beliefs, he or she must wear certain garments, clothing that can get caught in machinery or otherwise create a hazard for that worker or others. The correct answer is the employee should be provided with a choice of wearing safe garments or seeking employment elsewhere. Of course, management worries that making such a demand will subject them to lawsuits over religious discrimination. They are almost put in a no-win situation.
A tragic example of how this can play out occurred when a Muslim woman would not remove her veil at work, clothing that ultimately got caught in the machinery and killed her. Not surprisingly, the company is being sued. What we have here are two contributors to this tragedy. First, the woman was out of line making such a demand. Second, the company should have demanded safety first, and religious preferences be damned.
“As businesses across the globe are discovering, hiring devout Muslims usually means making new installments to suit their religious demands and offering special exemption from certain company guidelines. Perhaps fearing a discrimination lawsuit, management at the Toronto-based Fiera Foods in Ontario, Canada, kept silent when Diaby insisted on wearing her prohibited headscarf on the factory line. Just weeks later, they realized that hiring the devout Muslim was a lose-lose situation.
“The Toronto Star reports that just 2 weeks after hiring Diaby, she was gruesomely killed when her hijab became caught in the machinery, strangling her to death on September 2, 2016. However, because the company allowed Diaby to wear her hijab instead of holding her to the dress code, which requires employees to secure loose clothing, they have been fined $300,000 for not protecting their employee.”
This is precisely what happens when business firms give in to unreasonable demands. A factory is a workplace, not house of worship.
“On September 14, 2017, the company pleaded guilty to Ministry of Labour violations, prompting the crown to withdraw most of the charges against Fiera Foods, including those related to 2 other unrelated incidents in October 2015 and June 2016.
“‘There’s a lot of lessons to be learned out of Fiera Foods,’ Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said following Thursday’s guilty plea. ‘If companies think there’s a shortcut, they’re fooling themselves. There’s a safe way to do the job, and there’s a not-safe way to do the job.'”
The necessity of wearing proper and safe clothing when working around machinery is not a newly discovered priority. The company erred in allowing this woman to do so, and now the firm is the subject of negative publicity and a considerable fine while being at least partially responsible for this woman’s death.
And Muslim women need to accept that their insistence on certain wardrobe choices will disqualify them from certain jobs. They don’t have to like that, but it’s the way the world works, and ignoring reality gets people injured or killed.
Finally, the business community needs to stand up for itself and not be cowered into making unwise decisions just so they are not called Islamophobes or are threatened with boycotts or lawsuits.
Muslim intransigence is starting to get very old.
Source: Mad World News