On April 16, 2013, we posted about an employment discrimination case where a federal judge denied summary judgment to a company which allegedly fired 80 Somali Muslim employees for requesting time for a prayer break — a “religious accommodation.”
The EEOC had sued on their behalf alleging that during Ramadan in 2008, the employees had engaged in a work stoppage because they were not permitted to change the time of their dinner shift break so that they could engage in the required prayer. The company fired them for complaining that they were denied a reasonable accommodation.
After a couple of years of litigation, the Court just issued a ruling that the plaintiffs’ request for the prayer time accommodation created an “undue hardship” for the company: “It had shown that a religious accommodation for Muslim employees, within the parameters requested, would have caused more than a de minimis burden on JBS and on its non-Muslim employees.” The Court found that this burden would consist of: food safety and employee safety concerns; an effect on efficiency; raised expenses; and a burden on non-Muslim employees.
The case continues.
See Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v JBS USA, case number 8:10-cv-00318, U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.