GREELEY, COLO. – JBS USA reached a $5.5 million settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) following a legal dispute over whether the company allowed prayer breaks for Muslim employees at its plants.
The original lawsuit was filed in 2010. It claimed JBS retaliated against Muslim employees by disciplining them or firing them when they requested their evening break be moved so that they could break their fast and pray closer to sundown during Ramadan in 2008. Ramadan is a holy month in the Islamic faith which requires daytime fasting.
The settlement and consent decree signed by both parties covers alleged lost wages and benefits, compensatory damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs. All individuals listed in the decree are eligible for rehire by JBS.
In the consent decree filed in the US District Court for the District of Colorado, JBS and the EEOC also said the company will “continue to provide one or more clean, quiet and appropriate locations other than a bathroom for its employees to use for observation of their religious tenets, such as daily prayers.”
The pact said that JBS agreed to provide translators upon request for training, disciplinary meetings and any meetings concerning request for religious accommodations or complaints of discrimination or retaliation.
Other details in the decree include anti-discrimination training for all employees of JBS.
The entire decree and settlement can be found here.