To avoid "problems" with Muslims making demands in the workplace, some Montreal-area businesses are simply refusing to hire them, the Bouchard-Taylor commission heard yesterday.
"I'm not saying it's the majority, but as a human-resources manager for several organizations I've often been told not to hire such-and-such a community," said Pierre Dumais, who works in Laval.
"It's not (motivated) out of racism or anything like that. It's just not to have problems with reasonable accommodations - for example, having to provide a prayer room." Dumais is president of the the Regroupement des gestionnaires en ressources humaines de Laval, which represents about 50 small and medium-sized businesses.
He gave two recent examples involving Muslims. In one case, a Laval assembly-line worker asked for the month of the Ramadan off - he was refused, because the plant was operating at full capacity. At another local factory, two workers left the assembly line on a Friday to go pray at their mosque - they were disciplined for going AWOL.
"But what if the person complains, and takes his complaint to the human rights commission, or the union files a grievance?" Dumais asked. "It's a dilemma." What's next? he wondered.
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