When you think of Whole Foods, you think of openness and progressive values. That's exactly what Glenn Mack, Jr. thought when he applied there for employment. But everything changed once his supervisor learned he practiced the Muslim faith.
In 2008, Glenn Mack, Jr. was hired at a Whole Foods and quickly ascended as an employee, earning accolades from employee of the quarter to a special meeting with CEO and founder John Mackey. In November of 2009, Mr. Mack was recruited to the Philadelphia, PA store located in the trendy art museum district. In August 2010, Glenn submitted a request, well in advance, to take 3 weeks off for vacation in November. His request was approved without issue. As November approached, his immediate supervisor asked where he was going. Glenn said he had been saving up to travel to the holy city of Mecca in order to perform the Muslim pilgrimage, a once in a lifetime opportunity. His supervisor was shocked to learn he was a Muslim and bluntly said he may not have his job when he came back.
Glenn returned from his pilgrimage and found that he had been demoted to seasonal status, and lost all benefits, including health care. When he protested to human resources, he was retaliated against with pervasive harassment. Employees began making anti-Muslim comments, and when Glenn used his off the clock break time for short, 5 minute prayers, he would get heckled to the point where the only place he could pray without being disturbed was next to a trash dumpster. In February of 2011, Glenn received a phone call saying he was terminated from employment for alleged absenteeism, something he was not informed about before.
Ironically, in July 2011, just a few months after Glenn was fired for being Muslim, Whole Foods became the first national supermarket chain to launch a “Ramadan promotion” seeking to attract Muslim consumers during the Islamic holy month.
Now, despite nationwide media attention [http://articles.cnn.com/2011-11-08/us/us_pennsylvania-muslim-fired_1_american-islamic-relations-hajj-muslim?_s=PM:US], Whole Foods is denying the incident altogether and putting up legal road blocks to Glenn's case. Furthermore, while Glenn has been applying to other jobs, he is about to get evicted from his apartment and has already lost his car.
Moein Khawaja, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Philadelphia office, is asking you to sign this petition and let Whole Foods know that an open, progressive image must not be a marketing ploy, but a set of values that are upheld. He is also asking you to tell Whole Foods that you, as a consumer, are unwilling to financially support a company which engages in unlawful discrimination and that you demand that Whole Foods reinstate Glenn Mack, Jr., immediately, and compensate him for any lost wages which resulted from the company’s unlawful and discriminatory conduct.
Do your part and let big companies know that they will be held accountable to the standards they profess.