Cargill to pay Colorado workers in settlement

Somali Muslim workers had filed a complaint

DENVER, Colo - 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 Colorado 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 its Fort Morgan plant. 

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

Last year, the EEOC found that 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 in Fort Morgan, located 75 miles northeast of Denver. 

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