JBS USA LLC, which does business with JBS Swift & Co., will pay up to $ 5.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Gender Equality Commission accusing it of racial, national origin and religious discrimination in its Greely, Colorado, beef processing plant.
The lawsuit, filed in 2010, accused JBS of discriminating against employees because they were Muslims, immigrants from Somalia and Black, the EEOC said in a statement.
The agency said JBS denied. Muslim employees' ability to pray according to religion and workers were harassed when they tried to pray during scheduled breaks or on bathroom remnants.
The EEOC said during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in 2008, JBS shut down or marked water fountains at the facility to prevent employees from using them, preventing Muslim workers from getting a drink of water after fasting all day and from washing. themselves before prayers.
The company also denied Somali. Muslim employees' bathroom crimes and disciplined them more severely than other employees, said EEOC.
The EEOC said that black, Somali and Muslim employees were harassed at work, with bosses and other employees throwing meat or bones at them and calling them offensive. name.
It is said that JBS tolerated offensive graffiti in Greeley's toilets that had racist harassing and obscene statements.
The company was accused of violating Section VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1
Under the terms of the consent decision governing the lawsuit, JBS will pay up to $ 5.5 million to about 300 employees, the statement said.
In addition, the decree requires JBS to take measures designed to correct and prevent further discrimination, including that all former employees covered by the decree are entitled to rehire, and review, update and post their anti-discrimination policy, among other measures.
EEOC President Charlotte A. Burrows said in a statement, “This case serves as a reminder that systemic discrimination and harassment remain significant issues that we as a society must address. I hope that the employer's new policies, especially those that provide prompt handling of harassment and ensure appropriate times and places for employees to exercise their faith, are a step in the right direction. "
JBS did not respond to a request. for comment.
JBS has been in the news due to a recently attacked ransomware.