It is rare for the top two salespeople at a department store to be fired, let alone on the same day. Two New Jersey people say that this happened to them, and they are convinced that it was not a coincidence. They say that they were fired due to discrimination against their religious faith.
The two worked at the Sears at Rockaway Town Mall until Aug. 24, when the store fired both of them. Management told them the reason for their terminations was that they would scan coupons from in-store circulars for customers who forgot to bring them from home. Officially, they were fired for theft by deception, so they could not get unemployment benefits. The younger worker says he is struggling to provide for his wife and young child since being fired.
The fired salespeople say that this was common practice, and that they were singled out. They were both longtime employees, having worked at Sears for 11 and eight years. The two ex-employees say that they were the top two in sales at their location.
They believe the real reason for their firing was that they are practicing Muslims. As part of their faith, they regularly went into a room set aside for praying. This required other workers to relieve them for short periods. Whether it was irritation over this legally-protected practice, or prejudice against them in general, both workers believe that they were the victims of religious discrimination. They have sued Sears for wrongful termination.
Sears declined to comment on the case.
Source: WABC-TV, “2 claim Sears in New Jersey fired them for being Muslim,” Toni Yates, Oct. 1, 2013