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Meat packer, staffing firm settle with Muslim workers

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

St. Cloud-based Gold’n Plump has agreed to pay $215,000 to a group of Somali Muslim workers to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC.

The company also granted the workers an extra paid break for prayer during the second half of each shift. The timing of the added break will fluctuate to correspond with Muslim prayer rituals.

The Work Connection (TWC), a St. Paul-based staffing agency that referred workers to Gold’n Plump, settled a companion EEOC lawsuit for $150,000. That suit charged TWC with requiring applicants for Gold’n Plump assignments to sign a form stating they would not refuse to handle pork products, which violates Muslim beliefs. As part of the settlement, TWC has agreed to toss the “pork form” and offer jobs to applicants who were turned down because of it.

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