Cargill Meat Solutions has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle out of court with 138 people who had worked at the Fort Morgan plant in 2015 and were fired after claiming religious discrimination and staging a walk-out, according to an announcement on Friday from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Those claims were investigated by the Denver Field Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and resulted in findings in August 2017 of “reasonable cause to believe Somali, African and Muslim employees were harassed, denied their requests for prayer breaks, and fired from their employment at Cargill’s Fort Morgan, Colo., beef processing plant,” according to a EEOCpress release.
While settling on the charges so as to avoid “a protracted legal proceeding,” Cargill did not accept the EEOC findings, the release stated.
The company also plans to “continue to conduct mandatory training for all management and hourly personnel” at the Fort Morgan plant, including “explaining employee rights under Title VIIto be free from discrimination based on their race, national origin, retaliation, and their right to be accommodated for their sincerely held religious beliefs,” according to the EEOC.
That also is something that is s outlined in Cargill’s policy surrounding workplace accommodations.
“We applaud Cargill for working with the charging parties and the EEOC to reach a meaningful resolution enabling all parties to move forward,” said EEOC Phoenix District Director Elizabeth Cadle stated.