JD Sports Fires "Racist" Supervisor For Banning Muslim Employees From Taking Prayer Breaks
Sportswear retailer JD Sports Malaysia recently came under fire after an outlet supervisor was discovered warning Muslim employees against taking prayer breaks in a WhatsApp group for that particular store
A screenshot of the message, which was widely circulated on Twitter and Instagram yesterday, 18 January, shows the purported supervisor telling employees to hand in their resignation if they refuse to accept the directive.
The screenshot quickly went viral on social media. It was soon met with outrage by netizens, some of whom called it a "disgrace" and urged the sportswear retailer to take immediate action against the offending employee.
On the other hand, some suggested that the supervisor's drastic rule may have resulted from past experiences involving employees who took advantage of long breaks, although he could've devised a better and smarter solution
To JD Sports Malaysia's credit, the retailer posted an official statement in less than 24 hours after the issue imploded on social media, clarifying that "it is solely an action of one individual" and not part of the company's policies
"We understand there are current sentiments highlighting JD Sports Pavilion denying the rights of our employees to fulfill their prayers," the retailer said in a statement posted on Facebook.
"We would like to inform and assure all our Muslim customers, friends and partners that this is not a policy that we practice, and it is solely an action of one individual that went against the essence of JD Sports as a brand and company. We do not condone such disrespectful behaviour."
The statement, which was written in Malay and English, also revealed that the supervisor in question has been "terminated with immediate effect"
"We have investigated this incident and identified the irresponsible staff involved. The said staff has also been terminated with immediate effect as JD Sports treats this matter with utmost seriousness," the statement said.
"JD Sports as a global brand has always, and will continue to, respect all cultural and religious beliefs. We will not tolerate any form of disrespect and discrimination, and will continue to do everything in our power to uphold this value."
Following JD Sports' response, some applauded the retailer for terminating the offending staff member and their quick reaction to the controversy
However, others weren't too ready to forgive despite the company having clarified that it was an isolated incident. Some demanded proof that the supervisor had indeed been fired...
... While many declared that they will be boycotting the company for the days to come
Do you think the company has done enough to rectify the situation? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
In another case of workplace discrimination last year, several Muslim female hotel employees revealed that they were banned from wearing tudung (headscarves) at work:
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