Muslim Woman Sues Virginia Company, Claims Prayer Breaks Kept Her From Getting Hired

A Muslim woman is suing a company in northern Virginia. She claims that the company was set to her her until she asked for prayer breaks during her work day.

In a federal lawsuit filed in Alexandria, Shahin Indorewala claims that she applied for a junior management position at Fast Track Management Inc. last September. During her second interview an assistant manager took things as far as explaining what her break schedule would be like with the job.

“I said, ‘That’s kind of a long lunch break, but is it possible for me to take a shorter lunch break and instead take five minutes throughout the day to pray,’ ” Indorewala said to reporters outside of Fast Track Management’s offices.

Soon after the interview ended, Indorewala spoke with CEO Ramses Gavilondo.

“He pointed to my head scarf and he was making all sorts of hand movements and becoming very loud,” Indorewala continued. “He was just like ‘Religion, we don’t want that here. We don’t want these religious shenanigans here.’ ”

Allegedly Gavilondo had a tirade in front of Fast Track employees and others who applied for the job.

“I felt very humiliated, but first I was just shocked … am I really being made fun of because of my religion in public? I was pretty hurt and pretty embarrassed,” Indorewala said.

While speaking with NBC Washington, Gavilondo stood his ground. He said the plaintiff “wanted to preach her religion.”

“We ask people to keep religion to themselves,” said Gavilondo. “I don’t see the need for religious preaching in the 21st century.”

Indorewala claims she was not preaching, but only was looking for two five-minute breaks in a secluded area. Federal labor law mandates that Fast Track make reasonable accommodations for religious practices, according to Indorewala’s lawyers.

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There was not a dollar figure cited in the lawsuit.