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Advocates: EEOC rules in Muslims' Neb. plant issue
by Jean Ortiz
Muslim advocates said Friday that federal officials determined a Nebraska meatpacking plant wasn't doing enough to accommodate the religious needs of its Muslim workers but stopped short of laying out specific recommendations.
The Chicago-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission outlined its decision in a letter sent to the organization this week. The decision comes after a nearly yearlong investigation into conditions at the Grand Island JBS plant, where hundreds of Muslim workers walked out in protest last September because they weren't given time to pray.
"It's a favorable finding ... it's definitely a victory," said Rima Kapitan, an employment attorney who worked on the case for the council.
Company and union officials said Friday they were disappointed with the timing of the letter because they've already made progress to alleviate workers' concerns. The letter came a week into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
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