USA: Judge finds no religious discrimination in lawsuit against JBS for not allowing Muslim prayer breaks

Author: Jeff Bahr, The Grand Island Independent (USA), Published on: 3 October 2016

"No religious discrimination found in 2008 JBS dispute", 26 Sep 2016

In a case that alleged mistreatment of Somali Muslim workers, a federal judge in Omaha ruled last week in favor of the JBS Swift meatpacking plant in Grand Island and against the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  The suit was filed by the EEOC on behalf of close to 80 JBS employees who were fired on Sept. 19, 2008. They alleged religious discrimination in the suit, which was filed in 2010.  U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp found no evidence of a discriminatory motive.  The dispute began with requests by Somali Muslim employees for religious accommodation involving breaks for prayers.  Dissatisfied with the progress of those talks, a group of Somali Muslim employees refused to work...[R]epresentatives said Muslim employees desired a mass break at sunset in order to perform their maghrib prayer.  Several accommodations were discussed, including changing meal times to coincide with prayer times.  Ultimately, JBS representative Dennis Sydow told Muslim representatives that JBS could not meet their requests because he believed the requests violated the meal-time requirements of the employees’ collective bargaining agreement...

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