Amazon Does the Right Thing for Muslim Workers During Ramadan

by Evil HR Lady on June 8, 2018

Have you ever wondered why more businesses in the United States close on Christmasthan on any other holiday?

Sure, some of it is tradition–we’ve always been closed. But, some of it is simply practical: 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas, including the bosses. So, companies close.

But, the religious makeup of the United States is changing and Amazon is doing the right thing when it comes to dealing with that change.

In Amazon’s Minnesota warehouses, over 1,000 East African Muslim immigrants are working and observing RamadanBloomberg reports. This month-long holiday involves fasting during daylight hours, among other things. An unfortunate cross-over of calendars means that these religious observances fall during the ramp up for Amazon Prime day. (Although Amazon hasn’t officially announced the date for Prime Day).

Amazon has agreed to “ease up on quotas” and create prayer rooms for the duration of the fast.

Why allow these accommodations?

First of all, because it’s the law. When you have an employee with a sincerely held religious belief that conflicts with some aspect of their job, you have the obligation to make an accommodation as long as it doesn’t pose an “undue hardship” on the business.

To keep reading, click here: Amazon Does the Right Thing for Muslim Workers During Ramadan

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny June 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm

“Why allow these accommodations?” Why not? They certainly don’t create more than a de miniscule “hardship” for the employer, currently possibly the most successful business on the entire Planet. Furthermore, Amazon allows comparable religious accommodations to members of other religions, including Christianity, Judaism, etc.


Becky Mcintyre June 8, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Great post and timely after the gay wedding cake post. Accommodation, in both cases.


Dorothy June 8, 2018 at 8:58 pm

It would be better if amazon treated all of its employees better every day f the year.

But there’s a difference to me between giving off one day per year — which all employees get regardless of their religion or lack of one — and making a month-Long accommodation on job performance.

Will thebmuslim employees forego a Christmas holiday?


Anonymous June 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Yes, they do. Many Jewish, Muslims and other religions frequently work on Christmas, especially volunteering their time to hospitals and other organizations so the Christians can take the time off.


Julie June 8, 2018 at 9:04 pm

I can’t help but think that a lot of the world’s problems could be solved if we were all more accommodating and tolerant (within reason).

Given Amazon’s reputation as a lousy place to work, I’m glad to see they are taking one tiny step in the right direction.


Maria Rose June 8, 2018 at 9:09 pm

I have seen many Christain holidays removed the year but always saw major Jewish holidays remain and now the inclusion of Ramadan.
It is great that companies are acknowledging these religious holidays but I would like to see the same consideration done for those who follow other religions too. Problem is how does a company accommodate all religions without being biased as obviously, the company would need to know religions of their workers to make accommodations. Perhaps having an increase in the number of paid days offered by employers to employees to use at their discretion would help partially but I know for a fact that most religious holidays also occur during key business times e.g. the month of December especially the final two weeks. Very few businesses will close or let most of their employees take off those two weeks to accommodate but will let employees take the week of Passover off.
Christmas was a hard fought for a day off, it was considered a holiday until 1840, where Jewish and Muslim holidays were observed for eons.
Businesses should accommodate but not just for some religions but for all.


marie June 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm

Christmas is not only a religious holiday. It’s widely celebrated in a secular context, and the secular context has a huge impact on retail sales and other seasonal industries – by extension, this would include those who are employed in these areas. I don’t know of anyone who observes Passover or Ramadan outside of a religious context, and within the US the economic impact of these religious practices is much less, seeing how they are not in the majority. A business can afford to give a week off for Passover for the (likely smallish) handful of observant Jews they employ, but probably can’t give every Christian off for Easter, because either more people want to observe it, or are more likely than the other groups to observe it for secular reasons. Passover and Ramadan are firmly established times of specific religious observance and Christmas…well, isn’t.


Anonymous May 8, 2019 at 5:16 am

As an employee of Amazon, we have to take our break early and stay later to accommodate Ramadan! What about Easter being paid time off for us Christians! It’s bullshit!!!


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