14 September 2018

Cargill settles dispute with fired Muslim workers in Colorado, with $1.5 million payment

Cargill will pay $1.5 million to 138 terminated employees to resolve charges that its managers violated the Civil Rights Act by refusing to allow Somali-American Muslim workers to pray during their breaks at a meatpacking plant in Colorado, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Friday.

The agency said it found reasonable cause to believe the employees were harassed, denied their requests for prayer breaks, and fired from their employment at Cargill's Fort Morgan, Colo., beef processing plant in 2015.

While Cargill said it does not accept the EEOC's findings, it decided to settle out of court to avoid a protracted legal proceeding.

Cargill has reaffirmed its commitment to continue to allow Muslim workers to take short breaks to perform their prayers. Cargill's religious accommodation policy takes into account key business requirements, such as employee and food safety and production-line needs. [StarTribune] Read more