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A federal judge has given the OK for an almost 5-year-old Muslim discrimination case filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against meatpacker JBS Swift & Co.
The EEOC said in a statement last week that it had filed two similar discrimination lawsuits against Greeley, Colorado-based Swift in August 2010 in Nebraska and Colorado.
The EEOC charged that Swift engaged in wide-scale religious discrimination when it failed to reasonably accommodate its Muslim employees by refusing to allow them to pray according to their religious tenets.
The agency also charged that Swift retaliated against Muslim employees by disciplining or firing them when they requested that their evening break be moved so that they could break their fast and pray closer to sundown during Ramadan, an Islamic holy month requiring daytime fasting, in 2008, according to the ruling.
At trial in May 2013, the U.S. District Court in Omaha, Nebraska, ruled in Swift’s favor in the case on the basis that religious accommodation posed an undue burden.
But the U.S. District Court in Denver rejected Swift’s position on the undue burden issue, among others in the ruling. The name of the case is EEOC v. JBS USA, L.L.C. d/b/a/ JBS Swift & Co.
The case will now proceed to trial, focusing on events that occurred during Ramadan 2008, the agency said.