Canadian Manufacturing

Commission rules that Cargill violated workers’ rights by banning Muslim prayer

About 150 employees walked off the job at the Cargill's Fort Morgan plant in December 2015 after supervisors told them they would no longer be allowed to pray at work, then fired them


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MINNETONKA, Minn.—The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found reasonable cause that agribusiness giant Cargill violated the civil rights of Somali-American Muslim employees by refusing to allow them to pray during their breaks at a meatpacking plant in Colorado.

About 150 employees walked off the job at the Cargill’s Fort Morgan plant in December 2015 after supervisors told them they would no longer be allowed to pray during their breaks. The company then fired the workers for violating attendance policies.

The company based in Minnetonka, Minn., maintained the prayer break issue was a misunderstanding between supervisors and workers.

The Star Tribune reports Cargill and the employees now have a chance to settle the matter confidentially.

A discrimination lawsuit is possible if a settlement cannot be reached.


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