Muslim workers fired in prayer dispute at Fort Morgan meat plant reach $1.5 million settlement

DENVER — A U.S. meatpacker has agreed to pay $1.5 million to 138 Somali-American Muslim workers who were fired from their jobs at a Fort Morgan plant after they were refused prayer breaks.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Friday that Wichita, Kansas-based Cargill Meat Solutions also pledged to accommodate Somali-American workers’ prayer breaks at the northeast Colorado plant.

The EEOC says Cargill denies wrongdoing but agreed to settle to avoid further litigation.

Last year, the EEOC found the workers were fired in 2016 after protesting a decision by plant management to stop permitting Muslim employees to take short breaks for prayer.

Hundreds of Somali-Americans work at the plant.

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