MINNEAPOLIS – Under a settlement to a federal lawsuit, up to 100 Somali Muslims who are current or former workers at Gold'n Plump Inc. will receive a total of $365,000.
The settlement was filed in Minneapolis on Friday. It sprang from allegations of religious discrimination at the company's chicken processing plants in Cold Spring and Arcadia, Wis.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed lawsuits against St. Cloud-based Gold'n Plump and the Work Connection Inc., an employment agency in St. Paul, which handled some hiring for the plant.
Under the settlement, Gold'n Plump agreed to pay $215,000 to workers who were terminated for taking prayer breaks.
The Work Connection will pay $150,000 to workers who were asked to sign a form acknowledging that they might be required to handle pork, which many Muslims consider unclean.
The EEOC estimates that 40 to 100 workers will qualify for the payments.