Former employees of a Fort Morgan, Colorado meatpacking plant have gained a “reasonable cause” finding against the plant and their union.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision finds that the Cargill-owned plant discriminated against the Muslim employees by refusing to let them pray during breaks.
The commission also found that the Teamsters Union failed to represent the workers who walked off the job in protest in December 2015. The company then fired the workers for violating attendance policies.
“We’re hoping that Cargill and Teamsters will voluntarily come to the table and agree to make permanent changes and allow future Muslim employees to work without discrimination in the workplace,” said attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai.
Many of the former workers have moved out of state and found other jobs. In a statement, Cargill, one of the nation’s largest beef producers, disagreed with the decision, saying they are committed to inclusion, diversity and respect for religious freedom.
The Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company concluded their statement by saying their policies on the matter haven’t changed and that “employees at Fort Morgan come from many countries, and everyone working at the plant has access to religious accommodation under our policy.”
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