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CAIR Good News Alert: Settlement Reached on Behalf of Cargill Somali-American Muslim Workers

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/14/18) — Cargill Meat Solutions (Cargill), Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced that they have reached a settlement to resolve EEOC charges filed on behalf of 138 Somali-American Muslim workers.

SEE: Cargill Meat Resolves EEOC Discrimination Class Finding

In their charges, the workers alleged wrongful termination based on discrimination and the wrongful revocation of a religious accommodation policy that permitted them to take short breaks to perform their obligatory prayers in accordance with their sincerely-held beliefs.

While Cargill does not accept the basis of these EEOC complaints, it decided to settle the matter out of court to avoid a protracted legal proceeding and provide all parties with a path forward.

The agreement includes a financial settlement of $1,500,000 for the 138 terminated employees, inclusive of attorneys’ fees and costs. In conjunction with this agreement, Cargill has reaffirmed its commitment to continue to allow Muslim workers to take short breaks to perform their obligatory prayers. Cargill’s religious accommodation policy takes into account key business requirements, such as employee and food safety, and production line needs.

“Providing our employees with religious accommodation is an important part of engaging and supporting our employees, and our policy has remained consistent for more than 10 years,” said Brian Sikes, president of Cargill Meat Solutions.

“We are gratified with the settlement reached for the 138 former Cargill employees that we represented in this proceeding and applaud the company for its ongoing efforts to consistently grant prayer requests to people of all faiths based on its longstanding policy and values,” stated Qusair Mohamedbhai of Denver law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC. “We appreciate the collaborative efforts of Cargill and Cargill’s commitment to continue to communicate its longstanding prayer accommodation practices.”

“We commend Cargill for reaching this settlement with 138 of its former employees and for valuing the religious diversity of its workers,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “We applaud this settlement, which represents a mutually agreeable resolution of this case, and we welcome Cargill’s commitment to accommodating the religious needs of Muslim workers and workers of other faith backgrounds.”

Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC is a preeminent civil rights firm based in Denver, Colorado. The firm is committed to promoting civil rights in a variety of arenas, including employment discrimination, public accommodations, and fair housing, as well as to ensure that individuals are protected from violations of their civil liberties at the hands of government officials.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.


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