A university lecturer is under fire after implying employers should not hire Muslim workers because they stop to pray five times a day.

Dr Raymond Richards, who teaches American history and religion at the University of Waikato, made a comment on Friday on a Z Energy Facebook post about diversity in the workplace.

The post shows a photograph of a bearded man wearing a turban. Richards wrote: "Who needs employees if they stop work five times per day to talk to an imaginary being?"

The comment drew immediate criticism with responders saying Richards confused the Sikh in the photo with a Muslim.

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