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Religious bias claims rise in workplace

GREELEY, Colo., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Worker discrimination filings over religious issues in the United States doubled in the past 15 years, rising sharpest in 2007, up 15 percent, records show.

There were 4,515 federal, state and local complaints filed in 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

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That represents only 5 percent of all workplace discrimination claims but the rising number points to increased diversity among U.S. workers, the Journal reported.

The issue made headlines when workers protested a compromise break schedule at a JBS Swift & Co. meat packing plant in Colorado meant to accommodate about 500 Muslim workers. The company moved a 15-minute evening break earlier but the prayer ritual is meant to occur specifically at sunset, which changes every day.

The company fired about 200 workers involved in the protest, the Journal reported.

"It's frustrating for a lot of people that we haven't been able to solve this," said Doug Schult, the company's head of employee and labor relations.

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