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JBS Swift, Greeley-Based Meat Packing Company, Facing Federal Lawsuit For Discriminating Against Muslim Workers

08/30/10 10:14 PM ET   AP

Jbs

OMAHA, Neb. — Federal officials say a JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Nebraska should provide Muslim employees with prayer time and not retaliate against workers who ask to pray.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of more than 80 Somali Muslims.

A message left at JBS Swift's U.S. headquarters in Greeley, Colo., wasn't immediately returned.

Hundreds of Muslim workers walked off the job at the Grand Island, Neb., plant during Ramadan in 2008, saying they wanted time to pray at sunset and break a daylong fast. Plant management adjusted the work schedule the next day.

Non-Muslims counterprotested and management ended the accommodations. The company fired 86 Muslim workers for walking off the job, but have said the firings weren't about religion.

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Online:

U.S. District Court, Nebraska: http://www.ned.uscourts.gov

Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: http://www.eeoc.gov

JBS Swift & Co., http://www.jbsswift.com

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Filed by Ethan Axelrod  |