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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA Aware Daud, Khadija Jama, Abdiaziz Ali Abdi, Sahra Farah, Anab Ibrahim, Fowsiya Gelle, Kiin Farah, Lul Esse Hersi, and Kasha Anna Sobania, Plaintiffs and proposed class representatives, vs. Gold’n Plump Poultry, Inc. and The Work Connection, Inc., Defendants. Plaintiffs and proposed class representatives Aware Daud, Khadija Jama, Abdiaziz Ali Abdi, Sahra Farah, Anab Ibrahim, Fowsiya Gelle, Kiin Farah, Lul Esse Hersi and Kasha Anna Sobania, by and through their attorneys Larson • King, LLP, Zimmerman Reed, PLLP and McSweeney & Fay, PLLP, and for their Complaint, state and allege as follows: THE PARTIES 1. Plaintiff Aware Daud (hereinafter “Plaintiff Daud”) is a current employee of Court File No.

CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT (DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL)

Defendant Gold’n Plump Poultry, Inc. (“Gold’n Plump”). Plaintiff Daud is a resident of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 2. Plaintiff Khadija Jama (hereinafter “Plaintiff Jama”) is a current employee of

Defendant Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Jama was initially hired to work at Gold’n Plump through The Work Connection, Inc. (“Work Connection”). Plaintiff Jama is a resident of Saint Cloud, Minnesota.

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3.

Plaintiff Abdiaziz Ali Abdi (hereinafter “Plaintiff Abdi”) is a former employee of

Defendant Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Abdi recently re-applied to return to work at Gold’n Plump through Work Connection. Plaintiff Abdi is a resident of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 4. Plaintiff Sahra Farah (hereinafter “Plaintiff Farah”) is a former employee of

Defendant Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Farah is a resident of Saint Paul, Minnesota. 5. Plaintiff Anab Ibrahim (hereinafter “Plaintiff Ibrahim”) is a former employee of

Defendant Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Ibrahim is a resident of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 6. Plaintiff Fowsiya Gelle (hereinafter “Plaintiff Gelle”) is a former employee of

Defendant Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Gelle is a resident of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 7. Plaintiff Kiin Farah (hereinafter “Plaintiff Kiin Farah”) is a current employee of

Defendant Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Kiin Farah is a resident of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 8. Plaintiff Lul Esse Hersi (hereinafter “Plaintiff Hersi”) is a former employee of

Defendant Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Hersi is a resident of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 9. Plaintiff Kasha Anna Sobania (hereinafter “Plaintiff Sobania”) is a former

employee of Defendant. Plaintiff Sobania is a resident of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 10. Defendant Gold’n Plump Poultry, Inc. (“Gold’n Plump”) is a privately-held

poultry processor incorporated in the State of Minnesota with corporate headquarters in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 11. Defendant Gold’n Plump describes itself on its website as the largest integrated

chicken processor in the Upper Midwest. Defendant Gold’n Plump employs approximately 1600 people in central Minnesota and Arcadia, Wisconsin. Annual sales are in excess of $225 million.

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12.

Defendant Work Connection is a privately held employment agency incorporated

in the State of Minnesota with corporate headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. On information and belief, Defendant Work Connection is the third largest employment agency in Minnesota. 13. Upon information and belief, Defendant Gold’n Plump hired Defendant Work

Connection to pre-screen, hire, and employ for a temporary basis potential line employees to work at Defendant Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility. If, upon the completion of a “trial” work period of several weeks, Gold’n Plump was satisfied with the Work Connection temporary line employee, Gold’n Plump would transition and formally hire said employee as an official Gold’n Plump line employee. JURISDICTION 14. Jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ federal claims is based upon 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and

1343. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ state law claims, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367, as they form part of the same case or controversy as the subject of Plaintiffs’ federal law claims. 15. Venue is proper in the District of Minnesota pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391, as all

Plaintiffs reside in this District, both Defendants have their headquarters in and can be found and conduct business in the District of Minnesota, and because the events or omissions giving rise to the Plaintiffs’ claims occurred in this District. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS Nature of the Case 16. This is an action to correct unlawful employment practices on the bases of race,

color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion as every employee is entitled to and has an interest in a work environment free of discrimination. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants

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discriminated against and subjected their Somali Muslim line employees to differential terms and conditions of employment based upon their race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 17. Plaintiffs also allege that Plaintiff Kasha Anna Sobania, a non-Somali, non-

Muslim line employee, was subjected to a racially discriminatory work environment; a loss of important benefits from interracial, interethnic, and interreligious associations; a loss of interpersonal contacts between members of different races, ethnic groups, national origins and religions when Defendants discriminated against their Somali and Muslim employees with respect to hiring, promotion, employment benefits, and other terms of employment; and a general deprivation of the benefits of an integrated working environment. 18. Accordingly, Plaintiffs seek injunctive and monetary relief, including pecuniary

and nonpecuniary compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated. Background on the Islamic Faith 19. As one of the Pillars of the Islamic faith, practicing Muslims engage in certain

practices they believe are sincerely required by their religion. These practices include praying five (5) times a day, facing Mecca, in a series of prayers spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 20. Each period of prayer has a special name and the timing of each is separated by

two hours. The essential prayer times are: a. b. c. After first light and before sunrise (“Fajr”); Between the sun reaching its height and mid-afternoon (“Dhuhr”); Between mid-afternoon and sunset (“Asr”);

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d. e. 21.

After the sun has finished setting (“Maghrib”); and In the dark of the night (“Isha”).

For many Muslim adherents, there is no flexibility; to neglect a scheduled prayer

is to deny one’s faith. 22. 23. Under the Muslim religion, Muslims are to be clean at the time of their prayer. Under the Muslim religion, Ramadan is a period of fasting, reflection, devotion,

generosity and sacrifice during which specific practices are required of Muslims. Ramadan is observed during the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar. 24. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are required by their religion to fast

from sunrise to sunset. They break the fast at sunset, at which time they also say a prayer. 25. Muslims are required by their religion to refrain from touching or handling pork

or pork product. Claims of the Named Plaintiffs Aware Daud 26. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 27. Plaintiff Daud was hired by Gold’n Plump as a line employee processing chicken

in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility on or about September 25, 2005. Plaintiff Daud currently works the Scannable 2 night-shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility. 28. 29. Plaintiff Daud is black and is a member of a protected race. Plaintiff Daud was born in the country of Somalia and emigrated from that

country to the United States in March 2005.

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30.

Plaintiff Daud speaks Somali as his first language. Plaintiff Daud speaks and

understands little English and therefore, requires the use of an interpreter to converse in English. 31. Plaintiff Daud is a practicing Muslim, and he engages in practices he sincerely

believes are required by his religion. These practices include taking short prayer breaks five (5) times a day spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 32. Plaintiff Daud has observed that Gold’n Plump allows non-Muslim employees to

temporarily leave the production line for various reasons throughout the day, such as to use the restroom. Plaintiff Daud has further observed that while Defendants may allow Muslim employees to leave the production line on occasion to use the restroom, they do not allow Muslim employees like him to leave the line to pray. 33. Plaintiff Daud is aware that Gold’n Plump owners and management personnel

held a meeting with approximately fifteen (15) Somali Muslim employees to discuss the prayer and fasting requirements of the Muslim religious holiday, Ramadan. During the meeting, Plaintiff Daud’s Somali co-workers requested permission to pray during short intervals in the workday during Ramadan, which Gold’n Plump rejected. Similarly, Gold’n Plump rejected Somali day-shift employees’ request to change the timing of one of their breaks to accommodate their religious prayer requirements. 34. During the course of his employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Daud has

observed that Somali employees tend to be assigned the dirtier, more labor intensive and less desirable “stations” or positions on the production line while Caucasian employees are not so assigned.

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35.

During the course of his employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Daud has

observed that Somali employees disproportionately tend to work the night shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility as compared to his non-Somali and non-Muslim counterparts. 36. During the course of his employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Daud has

observed that Somali employees tend to not be promoted within the organization despite their years with the Company. Plaintiff Daud is not aware of a single Somali employee being promoted to a supervisor position and is aware of only one Somali employee being promoted to a night-shift “Lead” position despite the fact that Somalis make up the majority of line employees working on the night shift. 37. During his employment and placement, Gold’n Plump has discriminated against

Plaintiff Daud based upon his race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 38. During his employment and placement, Gold’n Plump subjected Plaintiff Daud to

differential terms and conditions of employment because of his race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 39. intentional. 40. The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were done with The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were

malice or with reckless indifference to Plaintiff Daud. Khadija Jama 41. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs.

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42.

Plaintiff Jama began working for Gold’n Plump as a line employee processing

chicken in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility through Gold’n Plump’s staffing agency, Work Connection, on or about March 19, 2006. After an approximately six (6)week trial period, Plaintiff Jama was formally hired by Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Jama currently works the Scannable 2 night-shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility. 43. 44. Plaintiff Jama is black and is a member of a protected race. Plaintiff Jama was born in the country of Somalia and emigrated from that

country to the United States in September 2004. 45. Plaintiff Jama speaks Somali as her first language. Plaintiff Jama speaks and

understands little English and therefore, requires the use of an interpreter to converse in English. 46. Plaintiff Jama is a practicing Muslim, and she engages in practices she sincerely

believes are required by her religion. These practices include taking short prayer breaks five (5) times a day spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 47. During her six (6)-week employment trial period, Work Connection personnel

advised Plaintiff Jama, and possibly others, that she was not allowed to use the bathroom for the first six (6) weeks of her employment at Gold’n Plump. 48. Plaintiff Jama has observed that Defendants allow non-Muslim employees to

temporarily leave the production line for various reasons throughout the day, such as to use the restroom. Plaintiff Jama has further observed that while Defendants may allow Muslim employees to leave the production line on occasion to use the restroom, they do not allow Muslim employees like her to leave the line to pray. In fact, there were occasions when Plaintiff

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Jama, and possibly others, was followed into the restroom by supervisors or other Gold’n Plump employees during the day to ensure that she was in fact using the restroom and not praying. 49. Upon information and belief, non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees are not

required to ask a supervisor for permission to use the restroom and, upon obtaining permission, such employees are not followed into the restroom and monitored by Gold’n Plump supervisors or other ranking employees 50. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Jama has

observed that Somali employees tend to be assigned the dirtier, more labor intensive and less desirable “stations” or positions on the production line while Caucasian employees are not so assigned. 51. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Jama has

observed that Somali employees disproportionately tend to work the night shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility as compared to their non-Somali and non-Muslim counterparts. 52. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Jama has

observed that Somali employees tend to not be promoted within the organization despite their years with the Company. 53. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump has discriminated against

Plaintiff Jama based upon her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 54. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump subjected Plaintiff Jama to

differential terms and conditions of employment because of her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion.

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55. intentional. 56.

The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were

The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were done with

malice or with reckless indifference to Plaintiff Jama. Abdiaziz Ali Abdi 57. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 58. Plaintiff Abdi was hired by Gold’n Plump as a line employee processing chicken

in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility in August 2004. Plaintiff Abdi voluntarily ceased working for Gold’n Plump in December 2005 but was told by the company that he was welcome to re-apply to Gold’n Plump in the future. 59. In the spring of 2006, Plaintiff Abdi re-applied for a position with Gold’n Plump

through Work Connection. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff Abdi’s application was rejected by Work Connection because Plaintiff Abdi refused to sign a document wherein it stated that Plaintiff Abdi would agree to handle pork product during the course of employment with Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Abdi’s religion forbids him to handle pork or pork product. 60. Upon information and belief, it is not necessary for an applicant or employee to

handle pork or pork product in order to be gainfully employed at Gold’n Plump. 61. 62. Plaintiff Abdi is black and a member of a protected race. Plaintiff Abdi was born in the country of Somalia and emigrated from that

country to the United States in July 2004. 63. Plaintiff Abdi speaks Somali as his first language. Plaintiff Abdi speaks and

understands little English and therefore, requires the use of an interpreter to converse in English.

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64.

Plaintiff Abdi is a practicing Muslim, and he engages in practices he sincerely

believes are required by his religion. These practices include taking short prayer breaks five (5) times a day spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 65. In December 2005, Plaintiff Abdi was employed on the day-shift. During that

time, Plaintiff Abdi attempted to obtain time off from work for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, a large portion of which requires Muslims to perform and adhere to certain religious practices during daylight hours. Plaintiff Abdi’s request was rejected by Gold’n Plump. As a result, Plaintiff Abdi felt he had no choice but to voluntarily terminate his employment with Gold’n Plump so that he may fully engage in the practices he sincerely believes are required by Ramadan. 66. During his employment and placement, Gold’n Plump has discriminated against

Plaintiff Abdi based upon his race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 67. During his employment and placement, Gold’n Plump subjected Plaintiff Abdi to

differential terms and conditions of employment because of his race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 68. intentional. 69. The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were done with The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were

malice or with reckless indifference to Plaintiff Abdi. Sahra Farah 70. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs.

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71.

Plaintiff Farah began working for Gold’n Plump through a staffing agency called

Manpower on November 18, 2002. Plaintiff Farah was formally hired by Gold’n Plump as a line employee processing chicken in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility on or about December 30, 2002 and ceased working for the Company on or about October 14, 2003. 72. 73. Plaintiff Farah is black and is a member of a protected race. Plaintiff Farah was born in the country of Somalia and emigrated from that

country to the United States in April 2001. 74. Plaintiff Farah speaks Somali as her first language. Plaintiff Farah speaks and

understands little English and therefore, requires the use of an interpreter to converse in English. 75. Plaintiff Farah is a practicing Muslim, and she engages in practices she sincerely

believes are required by her religion. These practices include taking short prayer breaks five (5) times a day spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 76. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Farah

observed that Gold’n Plump does not allow Muslim employees to temporarily leave the production line to pray during the workday unless a particular prayer can be both commenced and completed during an employee’s regularly scheduled rest or lunch break. 77. Upon information and belief, during the course of Plaintiff Farah’s employment

with Gold’n Plump, she observed that approximately fifteen (15) Gold’n Plump Somali line employees were fired by Gold’n Plump for praying during the workday. 78. Plaintiff Farah felt that she had no choice but to miss many of the scheduled

prayers required by her religion because she could not afford to lose her job with Gold’n Plump

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and she was aware that other Somali employees had been fired by Gold’n Plump for praying during the workday. 79. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Farah

observed that Somali employees tend to be assigned the dirtier, more labor intensive and less desirable “stations” or positions on the production line while non-Somali employees are not so assigned. 80. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Farah

observed that Somali employees disproportionately tend to work the night shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility as compared to her non-Somali and non-Muslim counterparts. 81. Plaintiff Farah worked the night-shift at the Gold’n Plump production facility

because she knew that she would miss fewer prayer sessions than if she were working the dayshift. Plaintiff Farah would have preferred to work the day-shift if Gold’n Plump would allow her to step off the production line temporarily to pray. 82. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Farah

observed that Somali employees tend to not be promoted within the organization despite their years with the Company. 83. Plaintiff Farah was allowed to attend a single English-as-a-second-language class,

which was offered to Gold’n Plump non-English speaking employees and held at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility; Plaintiff Farah never heard about the classes thereafter. Aside from her and one other male Somali employee, the racial composition of the English class Plaintiff Farah attended was made up entirely of Hispanic employees.

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84.

During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump discriminated against

Plaintiff Farah based upon her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 85. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump subjected Plaintiff Farah to

differential terms and conditions of employment because of her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 86. intentional. 87. The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were done with The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were

malice or with reckless indifference to Plaintiff Farah. Anab Ibrahim 88. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 89. Plaintiff Ibrahim began working for Gold’n Plump through a staffing agency

called Manpower on June 1, 2004. Plaintiff Ibrahim was formally hired by Gold’n Plump as a line employee processing chicken in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility on July 14, 2004 and ceased working for the Company on November 9, 2004. 90. 91. Plaintiff Ibrahim is black and is a member of a protected race. Plaintiff Ibrahim was born in the country of Somalia and emigrated from that

country to the United States in April 2001. 92. Plaintiff Ibrahim speaks Somali as her first language. Plaintiff Ibrahim speaks

and understands little English and therefore, requires the use of an interpreter to converse in English.

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93.

Plaintiff Ibrahim is a practicing Muslim, and she engages in practices she

sincerely believes are required by her religion. These practices include taking short prayer breaks five (5) times a day spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 94. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Ibrahim

observed that Gold’n Plump did not allow Muslim employees to temporarily leave the production line to pray during the workday unless a particular prayer could be both commenced and completed during an employee’s regularly scheduled rest or lunch break. On certain of these occasions, when Plaintiff Ibrahim was able to pray during a regularly scheduled break, supervisors would physically assault Plaintiff Ibrahim by pulling on her prayer rug and pushing her while she was kneeling and praying. 95. Plaintiff Ibrahim was told that if she did not stop praying during the workday she

would be transferred to the “hanging” department, which is among the dirtiest and least desirable departments in the production facility. 96. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Ibrahim

observed that Gold’n Plump allowed non-Muslim employees to temporarily leave the production line for various reasons throughout the day, such as to use the restroom. Plaintiff Ibrahim further observed that while Gold’n Plump may allow Muslim employees to leave the production line on occasion to use the restroom, it did not allow Muslim employees like her to leave the line to pray in the restroom. 97. On numerous occasions, Plaintiff Ibrahim would ask a supervisor for permission

to be relieved from the production line to go to the restroom. Upon obtaining permission, Plaintiff Ibrahim would enter the restroom to pray because she could not do so on the production

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line. Upon information and belief, a Gold’n Plump supervisor would then follow Plaintiff Ibrahim into the bathroom to ensure that she was in fact using the restroom as opposed to praying. 98. Upon information and belief, non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees were never

followed into the restroom and monitored by Gold’n Plump supervisors or other ranking employees. 99. On one occasion, Plaintiff Ibrahim asked her male supervisor for permission to

step off the production line to use the restroom. The male supervisor instructed Plaintiff Ibrahim to pee right then and there in front of him on the production floor to prove that she really had to use the restroom and was not trying to use the restroom to pray. The foregoing deeply offended Plaintiff Ibrahim and caused her great embarrassment and humiliation. 100. Plaintiff Ibrahim attended a meeting with a large number of other Somali

employees held at the production facility by Gold’n Plump management. Plaintiff observed generally that certain Gold’n Plump managers, supervisors and “a man from the cities who stated that he owned the company” were present at this meeting. The Somali-employees were told by Gold’n Plump management that there would be “no more praying” at Gold’n Plump. Management further stated that the Somali employees could “take it or leave it,” i.e., those employees who did not pray could stay and work for Gold’n Plump but those who had to pray must quit. The “owner” also stated, “I am the owner and this is how it will be.” 101. Upon information and belief, Work Connection now requires Somali applicants

for line production positions with Gold’n Plump to sign a waiver prior to their hire whereby the applicant agrees that he or she will not pray at work during work hours.

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102.

During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Ibrahim

observed that Somali employees tend to be assigned the dirtier, more labor intensive and less desirable “stations” or positions on the production line while Caucasian employees were not so assigned. 103. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Ibrahim

observed that Somali employees disproportionately tend to work the night shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility as compared to her non-Somali and non-Muslim counterparts. Plaintiff Ibrahim would have sought a position on the day shift if she had been allowed to pray. Like other Somali employees, Plaintiff Ibrahim worked the night shift because by doing so she would only miss one scheduled prayer as opposed to the three prayers required by her religion that fell within the day shift’s work hours. 104. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Ibrahim

observed that Somali employees tend to not be promoted within the organization despite their years with the Company. In fact, Plaintiff Ibrahim made several attempts to advance in Gold’n Plump but never received any of the promotions or transfers for which she applied. 105. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump discriminated against

Plaintiff Ibrahim based upon her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 106. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump subjected Plaintiff Ibrahim

to differential terms and conditions of employment because of her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 107. intentional. The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were

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108.

The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were done with

malice or with reckless indifference to Plaintiff Ibrahim. Fowsiya Gelle 109. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 110. Plaintiff Gelle was hired by Gold’n Plump as a line employee processing chicken

in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility in June 2002. Plaintiff Gelle ceased working for Gold’n Plump in March 2003 after suffering a hand injury at work. 111. 112. Plaintiff Gelle is black and is a member of a protected race. Plaintiff Gelle was born in the country of Somalia and emigrated from that

country to the United States in February 2000. 113. Plaintiff Gelle speaks Somali as her first language. Plaintiff Gelle speaks and

understands little English and therefore, requires the use of an interpreter to converse in English. 114. Plaintiff Gelle is a practicing Muslim, and she engages in practices she sincerely

believes are required by her religion. These practices include taking short prayer breaks five (5) times a day spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 115. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Gelle

observed that Gold’n Plump did not allow Muslim employees to temporarily leave the production line to pray during the workday unless a particular prayer could be both commenced and completed during an employee’s regularly scheduled rest or lunch break.

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116.

Plaintiff Gelle was told by her supervisors that if she did not stop praying during

the workday she would be transferred to the “hanging” department, which is among the dirtiest and least desirable departments in the production facility. 117. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Gelle

observed that Gold’n Plump allowed non-Muslim employees to temporarily leave the production line for various reasons throughout the day, such as to use the restroom. Plaintiff Gelle further observed that while Gold’n Plump may allow Muslim employees to leave the production line on occasion to use the restroom, it did not allow Muslim employees like her to leave the line to pray in the restroom. 118. On numerous occasions, Plaintiff Gelle would ask a supervisor for permission to

be relieved from the production line to go to the restroom. Upon obtaining permission, Plaintiff Gelle would enter the restroom to pray because she could not do so on the production line. Upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump supervisors would then follow Plaintiff Gelle into the bathroom to ensure that she was in fact using the restroom as opposed to praying. 119. Upon information and belief, non Somali, non-Muslim line employees were never

followed into the restroom and monitored by Gold’n Plump supervisors or other ranking employees. 120. Upon information and belief, Work Connection now requires Somali applicants

for line production positions with Gold’n Plump to sign a waiver prior to their hire whereby the applicant agrees that he or she will not pray at work during work hours. 121. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Gelle

observed that Somali employees tend to be assigned the dirtier, more labor intensive and less

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desirable “stations” or positions on the production line while Caucasian employees were not so assigned. 122. In fact, March 2003, Plaintiff Gelle injured her hand at work. Plaintiff Gelle

received a note from the doctor who treated her for her hand injury, stating that she must be placed on light-duty. When Plaintiff Gelle returned to Gold’n Plump with the doctor’s note, her supervisor told her that she must remain in the Debone department. She informed the supervisor that she could no longer work in the Debone department due to the injury to her hand and advised that she had a doctor’s note limiting her to light-duty. The supervisor told Plaintiff Gelle that she either had to work in the Debone department or quit. Plaintiff Gelle made several attempts to transfer out of the Debone department and apply for other job positions but was always told by supervisors that there were no other job positions open or that the open positions had already been filled by another employee. Plaintiff Gelle felt that she had no choice but to voluntarily cease working for Gold’n Plump at that time. 123. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Gelle

observed that Somali employees disproportionately tend to work the night shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility as compared to her non-Somali and non-Muslim counterparts. Plaintiff Gelle would have sought a position on the day shift if she had been allowed to pray. Like other Somali employees, Plaintiff Gelle worked the night shift because by doing so she would only miss one scheduled prayer as opposed to the three prayers required by her religion that fell within the day shift’s work hours. 124. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Gelle

observed that Somali employees tend to not be promoted within the organization despite their years with the Company.

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125.

During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump discriminated against

Plaintiff Gelle based upon her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 126. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump subjected Plaintiff Gelle to

differential terms and conditions of employment because of her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 127. intentional. 128. The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were done with The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were

malice or with reckless indifference to Plaintiff Gelle. Kiin Farah 129. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 130. Plaintiff Kiin Farah began working for Gold’n Plump as a line employee

processing chicken in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility through a staffing agency called Manpower in June 2003. After a trial period, Plaintiff Jama was formally hired by Gold’n Plump. Plaintiff Jama currently works the night-shift in the Debone department at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility. 131. 132. Plaintiff Kiin Farah is black and is a member of a protected race. Plaintiff Kiin Farah was born in the country of Somalia and emigrated from that

country to the United States in March 2003. 133. Plaintiff Kiin Farah speaks Somali as her first language. Plaintiff Kiin Farah

speaks and understands little English and therefore, requires the use of an interpreter to converse in English.

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134.

Plaintiff Kiin Farah is a practicing Muslim, and she engages in practices he

sincerely believes are required by her religion. These practices include taking short prayer breaks five (5) times a day spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 135. Plaintiff Kiin Farah has observed that Defendants allow non-Muslim employees

to temporarily leave the production line for various reasons throughout the day, such as to use the restroom. Plaintiff Kiin Farah has further observed that while Defendants may allow Muslim employees to leave the production line on occasion to use the restroom, they do not allow Muslim employees like her to leave the line to pray. In fact, Plaintiff Kiin Farah’s supervisor informed Plaintiff that while she could allow Plaintiff to go to the restroom for ten-fifteen (1015) minutes, she could not allow her to pray for even a single minute. 136. On numerous occasions, Plaintiff Kiin Farah asked her supervisor for permission

to step off the production line to go to the restroom. On the occasions when permission has been granted, Plaintiff Kiin Farah would go into the restroom to pray because she could not do so on the production line. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff Kiin Farah’s supervisor would follow Plaintiff Kiin Farah into the bathroom to ensure that she was in fact using the restroom as opposed to praying. 137. Upon information and belief, non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees are not

required to ask a supervisor for permission to use the restroom and, upon obtaining permission, such employees are not followed into the restroom and monitored by Gold’n Plump supervisors or other ranking employees 138. If caught praying, Plaintiff Kiin Farah was then disciplined by her supervisor or a

Gold’n Plump manager because she did not actually go to the bathroom per se. In addition,

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Plaintiff Kiin Farah has been screamed at by Gold’n Plump employees on multiple occasions when they have caught her praying. 139. During her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Kiin Farah has observed

that Somali line employees, herself included, are often disciplined for allegedly arriving late to the production line even when they are not, in fact, late. Plaintiff Kiin Farah has further observed that Somali line production employees, as opposed to other non-Somali employees, are considered “late” when they appear on the production line merely a few seconds late. 140. On the occasions Plaintiff Kiin Farah has been marked as “late,” she has been

called into a Gold’n Plump supervisor’s office at which time a Somali-interpreter is contacted over the telephone. Plaintiff Kiin Farah is then lectured and required to sign a form written in English that she cannot read or otherwise understand or else she will be fired. While Plaintiff Kiin Farah has signed Gold’n Plump’s disciplinary forms for fear of being fired, she has done so under protest that she does not know what it is she is signing. 141. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Kiin Farah

observed that Somali employees tend to be assigned the dirtier, more labor intensive and less desirable “stations” or positions on the production line while Caucasian employees were not so assigned. This is true even when the Somali line employee is injured and brings in a note from his or her doctor placing work restrictions on the employee. 142. By way of example, upon her supervisor’s receipt of a doctor’s note placing work

restrictions on Plaintiff Kiin Farah, Plaintiff was recently re-assigned to a more difficult job position within the Debone department in complete contradiction of the doctor’s instructions. Gold’n Plump completely disregarded Plaintiff Kiin Farah’s doctor’s restrictions.

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143.

During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Kiin Farah

observed that Somali employees disproportionately tend to work the night shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility as compared to her non-Somali and non-Muslim counterparts. Plaintiff Kiin Farah would have sought a position on the day shift if she had been allowed to pray. Like other Somali employees, Plaintiff Kiin Farah worked the night shift because by doing so she would only miss one scheduled prayer as opposed to the three prayers required by her religion that fell within the day shift’s work hours. 144. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Kiin Farah

observed that Somali employees tend to not be promoted within the organization despite their years with the Company. 145. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Kiin Farah has

observed that Somali employees did not gain equal admittance, as compared to non-Somali employees, to English-as-a-second-language courses offered to Gold’n Plump employees and held at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility. 146. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump discriminated against

Plaintiff Kiin Farah based upon her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 147. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump subjected Plaintiff Kiin

Farah to differential terms and conditions of employment because of her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 148. intentional. The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were

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149.

The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were done with

malice or with reckless indifference to Plaintiff Kiin Farah. Lul Esse Hersi 150. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 151. Plaintiff Hersi began working for Gold’n Plump as a line employee processing

chicken in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility through a staffing agency called Manpower in October 2004. After a trial period, Plaintiff Jama was formally hired by Gold’n Plump and worked the night-shift in the Debone department until her termination in August 2006. 152. 153. Plaintiff Hersi is black and is a member of a protected race. Plaintiff Hersi was born in the country of Somalia and emigrated from that

country to the United States in September 2003. 154. Plaintiff Hersi speaks Somali as her first language. Plaintiff Hersi speaks and

understands little English and therefore, requires the use of an interpreter to converse in English. 155. Plaintiff Hersi is a practicing Muslim, and she engages in practices she sincerely

believes are required by her religion. These practices include taking short prayer breaks five (5) times a day spaced throughout the day, the precise times of which vary depending on the location of the sun, and thus the season. 156. Plaintiff Hersi has observed that Defendants allow non-Muslim employees to

temporarily leave the production line for various reasons throughout the day, such as to use the restroom. Plaintiff Hersi has further observed that while Defendants may allow Muslim

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employees to leave the production line on occasion to use the restroom, they do not allow Muslim employees like her to leave the line to pray. 157. On numerous occasions, Plaintiff Hersi asked her supervisor for permission to

step off the production line to go to the restroom. On the occasions when permission was granted, Plaintiff Hersi would go into the restroom to pray because she could not do so on the production line. Upon information and belief, a Gold’n Plump supervisor would follow Plaintiff Hersi into the bathroom to ensure that she was in fact using the restroom as opposed to praying. If caught praying, Plaintiff Hersi was then disciplined by the Gold’n Plump supervisor or a Gold’n Plump manager because she did not actually go to the bathroom per se. 158. Upon information and belief, non-Muslim line employees were never followed

into the restroom and monitored by Gold’n Plump supervisors or other ranking employees. 159. Upon information and belief, Work Connection now requires Somali applicants

for line production positions with Gold’n Plump to sign a waiver prior to their hire whereby the applicant agrees that he or she will not pray at work during work hours. 160. During her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Hersi generally observed

that Somali line employees are disciplined more frequently, especially for minor infractions, than non-Somali employees. 161. During her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Hersi observed that Somali

line employees, herself included, were often disciplined for allegedly arriving late to the production line even when they were not, in fact, late. Plaintiff Hersi further observed that Somali line production employees, as opposed to other non-Somali employees, are considered “late” when they appear on the production line merely a few seconds late.

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162.

In August 2006, and upon information and belief, Plaintiff Hersi was fired by

Gold’n Plump for these minor late violations and for praying during the workday. 163. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Hersi

observed that Somali employees tended to be assigned the dirtier, more labor intensive and less desirable “stations” or positions on the production line while Caucasian employees are not so assigned. 164. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Hersi

observed that Somali employees disproportionately tend to work the night shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility as compared to her non-Somali and non-Muslim counterparts. Plaintiff Hersi would have sought a position on the day shift if she had been allowed to pray. Like other Somali employees, Plaintiff Hersi worked the night shift because by doing so she would only miss one scheduled prayer as opposed to the three prayers required by her religion that fell within the day shift’s work hours. 165. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Hersi

observed that Somali employees tend to not be promoted within the organization despite their years with the Company. 166. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Hersi

observed that Somali employees did not gain equal admittance, as compared to non-Somali employees, to English-as-a-second-language courses offered to Gold’n Plump employees and held at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility. 167. During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump discriminated against

Plaintiff Hersi based upon her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion.

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168.

During her employment and placement, Gold’n Plump subjected Plaintiff Hersi to

differential terms and conditions of employment because of her race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. 169. intentional. 170. The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were done with The unlawful practices complained of in the preceding Paragraphs were

malice or with reckless indifference to Plaintiff Hersi. Kasha Anna Sobania 171. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 172. Plaintiff Sobania began working for Gold’n Plump through a staffing agent called

Manpower on June 25, 2001. Plaintiff Sobania was formally hired by Gold’n Plump as a line employee processing chicken in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility on August 6, 2001 and voluntarily ceased working for the Company on April 25, 2003 in order to more fully concentrate on her college courses. 173. 174. Plaintiff Sobania is Caucasian. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Sobania

observed that Somali employees were not treated equally by Gold’n Plump in terms of job duties, as Somali employees tended to be assigned the dirtier, more labor intensive and less desirable “stations” or positions on the production line while non-Somali employees like her were not so assigned. 175. Plaintiff Sobania observed that Somali employees were disproportionately

assigned to the “hanging” department, which is among the dirtiest and least desirable

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departments in the production facility, as compared to her and her non-Somali and non-Muslim counterparts. For example, as a Caucasian, Plaintiff Sobania was required to hang chickens half as often as did certain Somali employees. 176. Similarly, during the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff

Sobania observed that Somali employees were not treated equally by Gold’n Plump in terms of other employment opportunities at Gold’n Plump, such as promotions. Somali employees typically were not promoted within the Company. 177. During the course of her employment with Gold’n Plump, Plaintiff Sobania

observed that Somali employees were often “singled out” and treated differently seemingly for no other reason than their race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. Plaintiff Sobania observed that non-Somali employees would often tease and make jokes about their Somali co-workers. 178. Plaintiff Sobania recalls that Gold’n Plump had a large meeting with Somali

Muslim employees who wished to leave forty-five (45) minutes prior to the end of their shift for Ramadan. The Somali Muslims were denied permission to leave work early and were told that they would be disciplined if they chose to do so anyway. 179. Plaintiff Sobania has an interest in a work environment free of discrimination

against protected classes. 180. Plaintiff Sobania was subjected to a discriminatory work environment; a loss of

important benefits from interracial, interethnic, and interreligious associations; a loss of interpersonal contacts between members of different races, ethnic groups, national origins and religions when Defendants discriminated with respect to hiring, promotion, employment

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benefits, and other terms of employment; and a general deprivation of the benefits of an integrated working environment. 181. Plaintiff Sobania was deeply offended and suffered emotional distress because of

Defendants’ discriminatory actions. Factual Allegations of Classwide Discrimination 182. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 183. The acts of discrimination and the hostile work environment identified, described

and suffered by the named Plaintiffs are part of a general policy or practice of discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion in employment that has existed at Gold’n Plump for a number of years. These are not isolated employment practices or individual decisions. On the contrary, these incidents are representative of Defendants’ systemic and continuous discrimination against Somali Muslims in favor of non-Somali, nonMuslim applicants and employees, all done in an effort to increase corporate, executive and management profit. 184. Upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility

operates twenty-four (24) hours a day. There are several production departments, production lines, and production shifts within the facility. 185. Working the night-shift is less desirable than working the day-shift for a variety

of reasons, including but not limited to the disruption of sleep, the disruption of family life, and the inability to attend schools, businesses and other amenities available only during the day when night-shift workers are asleep.

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186.

Upon information and belief and at all relevant times, Defendants have been

aware that retaining night-shift line employees is extremely difficult due to the foregoing reasons. Upon further information and belief, Defendants track the retention and attrition of Gold’n Plump’s line employees on the various shifts. 187. Upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump has an annual turnover rate of

approximately 80-90% for line employees working the night-shift at its Cold Spring production plant. The turnover rate for the day-shift is believed to be significantly lower. 188. Upon information and belief, approximately half of the line employees working

the night-shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production plant are Somali, whereas Somaliemployees only make up approximately 20% of the day-shift. Upon further information and belief, the only black line employees at the production facility are also Somali. 189. Defendants commenced a continuing pattern and practice of refusing to

reasonably accommodate the religious practices of the Somali Muslim employees, who must pray five (5) times per day as part of their religious faith in an effort to prevent large numbers of night-shift Somali employees from transferring to more desirable day-shift. 190. In fact, while Gold’n Plump management and supervisory employees routinely

allow non-Somali, non-Muslim employees to temporarily leave the production line for various reasons throughout the day, such as to use the restroom, they do not allow Somali Muslim employees to leave the line to pray. Gold’n Plump management and supervisory employees have followed Somali Muslim employees into the restroom during the workday to ensure they were in fact using the restroom and not praying. 191. Upon information and belief, and in an effort to appease its client, Work

Connection has gone as far as instructing its newly hired Somali employees who are assigned to

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work at Gold’n Plump, not to use the restroom for the first five (5) to six (6) weeks of their employment. 192. Upon information and belief, during late 2002 and early 2003, Gold’n Plump met

with internal Somali employees and external representatives from local Somali organizations to discuss the employees’ requests for small amounts of prayer time during the workday. Unfortunately, Gold’n Plump remained steadfast in its refusal to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of its Somali Muslim employees. Instead, and upon further information and belief, Gold’n Plump continued to threaten Somali Muslim employees who attempted to pray during the workday with termination. 193. Gold’n Plump maintained and continues to maintain a pattern and practice of

intimidating, threatening, disciplining and, on occasion, even firing Somali Muslim employees for praying and/or attempting to pray during the workday. Upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump’s efforts in this regard have been the subject of adverse administrative rulings from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). 194. In addition, Gold’n Plump has not provided Somali employees with equal

opportunity to advance within the organization. This holds true despite the large number of Somali line employees working for the Company it its Cold Spring production facility. 195. Upon information and belief, Somali employees have applied for and been denied

advancement opportunities afforded to other non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees within the Gold’n Plump organization. 196. For example, and upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump participated in a

federal grant program through the Cold Spring school district, wherein Gold’n Plump hosted

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English-as-a-second-language classes at its production plant to teach its employees English. In doing so, Gold’n Plump allowed the employees attending the classes to remain “on the clock.” Gold’n Plump then published that certain of the employees attending said classes received promotions within the organization. 197. Unfortunately, and upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump denied equal

access to the English-as-a-second-language program to its Somali employees. 198. Gold’n Plump’s management core is disproportionately Caucasian. Upon

information and belief, of the seven (7) plant managers, fifteen (15) supervisors and twenty-five (25) “Lead” employees within the Cold Spring production facility, only one is Somali – an hourly “Lead” employee. Upon further information and belief, despite approximately half of the line employees on the night shift being Somali, at the present time, only one (1) in forty-seven (47) management employees within the production facility are Somali. 199. Gold’n Plump’s false prosecution of Somali Muslim employees for prayer-related

issues acts as an additional bar to advancement within the organization. 200. In addition, upon information and belief, Defendant Gold’n Plump, through its

supervisors and managers, all of whom were acting as agents for Gold’n Plump, treated their Somali line employees different than similarly situated non-Somali, non-Muslim employees. 201. For example, at the beginning of each shift, Gold’n Plump management assigns

line employees to particular “stations” or positions on the production line and requires each employee to perform particular work-related tasks. Certain positions require more physical labor and are dirtier than other positions, exposing the employees to more physical stress. Upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump management maintained and continues to maintain a pattern and practice for determining line positions and job assignments that discriminates against

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Somali employees on the bases of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion. Upon further information and belief, Gold’n Plump disproportionately assigns its Somali line employees to less desirable, dirtier, and more difficult line positions and assignments. 202. In addition, and upon information and belief and at all relevant times, Plaintiffs

and their Somali co-workers, were and continue to be subjected to discrimination and verbal and physical harassment by non-Somali, non-Muslim supervisors and “Lead” employees about which Gold’n Plump management was aware or should have been aware. This harassment consisted of, among other things, comments, inappropriate demands, physical pushing, physical tugging of prayer rugs and intimidation. 203. The harassment described above was due to the Somali employees’ race, color,

national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion and was unwelcome, offensive and was sufficiently pervasive as to alter the conditions of the Somali employees’ employment. 204. The foregoing, and other differential terms and conditions of employment,

represents treatment not experienced by similarly situated non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees as well as excessive criticism and discipline not otherwise accorded to non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees. 205. Upon information and belief, Work Connection employees regularly observe the

working conditions and work atmosphere at Gold’n Plump. Upon further information and belief, Work Connection has done nothing to prevent the discriminatory treatment of its Somali employees who are assigned to work at Gold’n Plump. Rather, in an effort to appease its client and to increase its own profits, Work Connection has similarly and purposefully discriminated against Somali applicants and employees.

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206.

For instance, upon information and belief, Work Connection has recently begun

requiring Somali applicants seeking employment with Gold’n Plump prior to their hire to sign a document wherein the applicant agrees that he or she will not pray at work during the workday (“prayer form”). Similarly, and upon further information and belief, Work Connection has recently begun requiring Somali applicants seeking employment with Gold’n Plump prior to their hire to sign a waiver or consent form under which the applicant agrees that he or she will work with and handle pork or pork products (“pork form”). 207. Upon information and belief, Work Connection has denied employment to Somali

applicants seeking employment with Gold’n Plump where the applicants refuse to sign a waiver or consent form under which the applicant agrees that he or she will work with and handle pork or pork products. 208. Upon information and belief, and at all relevant times, both Defendants have been

aware of the fact that for a practicing Muslim to sign either of the foregoing consent or waiver forms is to deny his or her faith and religion as each is a violation of Islamic principles. Thus, Defendants have conspired to discriminate against potential Somali Muslim applicants through use of the prayer and pork, and possibly other, consent forms. 209. All the above actions were taken by Defendants in order to deprive Plaintiffs and

members of the putative class of equal terms and conditions of employment and other contractual opportunities, as those afforded to other, non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees. 210. Defendants acted or failed to act as herein alleged with malice or reckless

indifference to the protected rights of Plaintiffs and members of the putative class. Plaintiffs and members of the putative class are thus entitled to recover punitive damages in an amount to be determined according to proof.

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CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS 189. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 190. The named Plaintiffs bring this action on their own behalf, and on behalf of

persons under Rule 23(a) and 23(b)(2) and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 192. The named Plaintiffs seek to represent a class consisting of: All present and former line employees of Somali descent and Muslim faith employed by Gold’n Plump to process chickens in Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring, Minnesota production facility. Plaintiffs reserve the right to amend the definition of the putative class following discovery. 193. Members of the putative class are so numerous that joinder of all such members is

impracticable. Although the exact size of the putative class is unknown at this time, it is believed and alleged that the number of persons of Somali descent employed as line workers at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring facility is approximately seventy (70) persons. 194. There are common questions of law and fact applicable to the putative class with

respect to liability issues, relief issues and anticipated affirmative defenses, including but not limited to: a. b. c. d. whether Defendants’ policies and practices violate federal civil rights laws, in particular 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985, 1986, and 1981; whether Gold’n Plump’s policies and practices violate state civil rights laws, in particular Minn. Stat. § 363A.08 and § 363A.15; whether Work Connections’ policies and practices violate state civil rights laws, in particular Minn. Stat. § 363A.08 and § 363A.14; whether Gold’n Plump maintains written and unwritten policies and/or practices whereby members of the putative class are not allowed to pray, or were disciplined or discharged for praying during the workday;

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e.

whether Work Connection maintains written and unwritten policies and/or practices whereby members of the putative class are not allowed to pray, are not recommended for hire, are not hired, or not assigned to work for Gold’n Plump because they wish to pray; whether Gold’n Plump maintains written and unwritten policies and/or practices for determining job assignments that discriminate against members of the putative class on the bases of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion; whether Gold’n Plump maintains written and unwritten policies and/or practices for determining shift assignments that discriminate against members of the putative class on the bases of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion; whether Gold’n Plump maintains written and unwritten policies and/or practices for determining promotions awarded to members of the putative class on the bases of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion; whether Gold’n Plump maintains written and unwritten policies and/or practices for providing access to and selecting participants for its Englishlanguage classes that discriminate against members of the putative class on the bases of race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed and religion; whether Gold’n Plump has failed to monitor its human resources and employment policies and practices adequately to ensure equal employment opportunity; whether Work Connection has failed to monitor its human resources and employment policies and practices adequately to ensure equal employment opportunity; whether senior management at Gold’n Plump had knowledge of racial and ethnic disparities in promotion, job and shift assignments and/or the organization’s diversity performance, and what, if any, actions were taken as a result of that knowledge; whether senior management at Work Connection had knowledge of the organization’s diversity performance, and what, if any, actions were taken as a result of that knowledge; whether Defendants’ policies or practices result in disparate impact adverse to Somali employees;

f.

g.

h.

i.

j.

k.

l.

m.

n.

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o. p.

whether Defendants’ discriminatory policies and practices are intentional; whether injunctive relief, including changes to Defendants’ company-wide written and unwritten policies and practices, is needed to adequately remedy past and present discrimination against members of the putative class and prevent future discrimination against members of the putative class; whether Defendants’ conduct constitutes a pattern and practice of discrimination against members of the putative class justifying an award of lost wages, benefits or other similar relief to the putative class; and whether Defendants’ conduct constitutes a pattern and practice of discrimination against members of the putative class justifying an award of compensatory and punitive damages to the putative class.

q.

r.

195.

Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the putative class.

They have no conflicts with the putative class members. The named Plaintiffs have retained counsel competent and experienced in complex class litigation. 196. The prosecution of separate actions by putative class members would create a risk

of inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual members that would establish incompatible standards of conduct for Gold’n Plump. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(1)(A)). 197. The prosecution of separate actions by the putative class members would create a

risk of adjudications with respect to individual members that would as a practical matter be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the adjudications or substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interests. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(1)(B)). 198. Class certification is appropriate pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) because

Gold’n Plump has acted and/or has refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the putative class, making appropriate declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to the named Plaintiffs and the class as a whole. The putative class members are entitled to injunctive relief to end Gold’n Plump’s common, uniform, and unfair discriminatory employment policies and practices.

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199.

Class certification is appropriate pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3) because

questions of law and fact common to the putative class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual class members, and a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy. More specifically, members of the putative class have little or no interest in individually controlling the prosecution of separate actions (Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3)(A)); Plaintiffs are not aware of any other pending litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by the putative class (Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3)(B)); and it is desirable to concentrate the litigation of the claims in this Court because Gold’n Plump does a substantial amount of business in this District, and the decision to violate applicable federal and state laws took place in this venue. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3)(C)). 200. This action is manageable as a class action because, compared to any other

method such as individual interventions or the consolidation of individual actions, a class action is more fair and efficient. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3)(D)). FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION AS TO BOTH DEFENDANTS CONSPIRACY TO DEPRIVE CIVIL RIGHTS IN VIOLATION OF 42 U.S.C. § 1985 201. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 202. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), it is illegal to conspire to deprive persons of

their civil rights, including civil rights based on race, national origin, and religious membership. 203. Upon information and belief, Defendants have conspired to deprive Plaintiffs and

members of the putative class of their civil rights.

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204.

Such conspiracy is motivated by racial discrimination and additional class based

discriminatory animus designed to deprive, directly or indirectly, Plaintiffs and members of the putative class of their civil rights under the laws of the United States and the State of Minnesota. 205. At all times relevant hereto, Defendants have acted in furtherance of the

conspiracy by recommending for employment, refusing to employ, employing, disciplining, terminating, or otherwise subjecting Plaintiffs and members of the putative class to conditions of employment based on Plaintiffs’ and putative class members’ race, national origin, and religious membership, in violation of Federal and State laws. 206. by limitation: a. Upon information and belief, members of management and the human resources departments at both Gold’n Plump and Work Connection entered into an agreement whereby Work Connection was to pre-screen, hire, and employ for a temporary basis, potential line employees to work at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility and, in doing so, conspired to screen out those Somali applicants and employees who refused to denounce their religious beliefs. In particular, and upon further information and belief, Defendants conspired to prevent the hire of Somali Muslims who refused to not pray during the workday and who refused to handle pork or pork product. b. Upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump and Work Connection conspired to disproportionately hire and assign Somali line employees, as compared to non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees, to work the lessSpecifically, Defendants’ wrongful conduct includes, by way of example and not

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desirable production night-shift at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility because of their race, national origin, and religious membership. c. Upon information and belief, Gold’n Plump and Work Connection conspired to disproportionately hire and assign Somali line employees, as compared to non-Somali, non-Muslim line employees, to work the lessdesirable “stations” and job positions at Gold’n Plump’s Cold Spring production facility because of their race, national origin, and religious membership. 207. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of Defendants’ conspiracy to deprive

Plaintiffs and members of the putative class of their civil rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), Plaintiffs and the putative class members have been damaged. 208. Plaintiffs and putative class members are entitled to recover compensatory and

punitive damages, along with their costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees. SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION AS TO BOTH DEFENDANTS VIOLATION OF 42 U.S.C. § 1986 209. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 210. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1986, it is illegal to neglect or refuse to prevent or aid in

preventing the commission of a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985. 211. Defendants actively and intentionally engaged in actions that deprived Plaintiffs

and putative class members of their civil rights. 212. Defendants were in a position to prevent the conspiracy to deprive Plaintiffs and

putative class members of their civil rights as alleged herein.

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213.

Defendants both failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the conspiracy to

Plaintiffs and putative class members of their civil rights. 214. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of Defendants’ failure to prevent the

conspiracy to deprive Plaintiffs and members of the putative class of their civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1986, Plaintiffs and the putative class members have been damaged. 215. Plaintiffs and putative class members are entitled to recover compensatory and

punitive damages. THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION AS TO BOTH DEFENDANTS INTENTIONAL DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF 42 U.S.C. § 1981 216. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 217. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981, it is illegal for a private employer to infringe on a

person’s right to make and enforce contracts or to full and equal benefit of all laws for the security of persons and property. 218. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Plaintiffs and members of the putative class enjoy

the same right as is enjoyed by non-Somali, non-Muslim citizens in the making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts, as well as in the enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms, and conditions of the contractual relationship between employer and employee as is enjoyed by non-Somali, non-Muslim citizens. 219. Defendants have maintained an intentionally discriminatory system with respect

to hiring, job assignment, compensation, promotion to “Lead,” supervisory and managerial positions, discipline, termination, and other terms and conditions of employment.

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220.

The foregoing conduct constitutes illegal intentional discrimination with respect

to the making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts prohibited by 42 U.S.C. § 1981. 221. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of Defendants’ intentional

discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Plaintiffs and putative class members have been damaged. 222. Plaintiffs and putative class members are entitled to equitable relief, back pay,

compensatory and punitive damages, along with their costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees. FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION AS TO DEFENDANT GOLD’N PLUMP UNFAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES IN VIOLATION OF MINN. STAT. § 363A.08 223. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 224. Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, subd. 2 (2006), broadly

prohibits an employer from engaging in employment practices that discriminate against applicants and employees on the bases of, inter alia, race, color, creed, religion, and national origin. 225. By engaging in the conduct described herein, Defendant Gold’n Plump violated

and continues to violate Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, subd. 2 and, as a result, Plaintiffs and putative class members have been continuously and unlawfully denied equal employment opportunities by Defendant. 226. The individual disparate treatment suffered by Plaintiffs and putative class

members is part of a pattern and practice of general discriminatory treatment toward members of Plaintiffs’ protected classes.

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227.

Defendant Gold’n Plump has maintained a system of employment which

unreasonably excludes persons seeking employment on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, and national origin. 228. Defendant Gold’n Plump has discharged certain Plaintiffs and members of the

putative class because of their religion. 229. Defendant Gold’n Plump has discriminated against Plaintiffs and members of the

putative class with respect to hiring, disciplining, promoting, conditions, facilities, and privileges of employment because of their race, color, creed, religion, and national origin. 230. Defendant Gold’n Plump’s unfair and discriminatory employment practices have

a disparate impact on Plaintiffs and members of the putative class. 231. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of Defendant Gold’n Plump’s unfair

and discriminatory employment practices in violation of Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, subd. 2, Plaintiffs and members of the putative class have been damaged. 232. Plaintiffs and putative class members are entitled to back pay, compensatory and

punitive damages, and damages for mental anguish or suffering as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees. FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION AS TO DEFENDANT GOLD’N PLUMP REPRISALS IN VIOLATION OF MINN. STAT. § 363A.15 233. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 234. Pursuant to Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. § 363A.15(1) (2006), it is

an unfair discriminatory practice for any employer, or any employee or agent thereof, to engage

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in any reprisal against any person because that person opposed a practice forbidden under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. 235. A reprisal forbidden by this section includes, but is not limited to, “any form of

intimidation, retaliation, or harassment.” 236. Upon information and belief, Defendant Gold’n Plump has engaged in reprisals

against Plaintiffs and putative class members who have opposed practices forbidden under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Such reprisals include, by way of example and not by limitation: intimidating and humiliating Somali Muslims line employees when they request permission to step away from the production line to use the restroom; following Somali Muslim line employees into the restroom and monitoring their activities therein; disciplining, threatening to discharge, or actually discharging Somali Muslim line employees for praying; and threatening Somali Muslim line employees caught praying with transfers to less desirable and more labor-intensive departments or positions. 237. As a result of Defendant’s retaliatory conduct in violation of Minn. Stat. §

363A.15, Plaintiffs and putative class members have been damaged. 238. Plaintiffs and putative class members are entitled compensatory and punitive

damages, damages for mental anguish or suffering as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees. SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION AS TO DEFENDANT WORK CONNECTION UNFAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES IN VIOLATION OF MINN. STAT. § 363A.08 239. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 240. Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, subd. 2 (2006), broadly

prohibits an employer from engaging in employment practices that discriminate against

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applicants and employees on the bases of, inter alia, race, color, creed, religion, and national origin. 241. Similarly, section 363A.08, subd. 3(a) of the Act prohibits an employment agency

from refusing or failing to accept, register, classify properly, or refer for employment or otherwise discriminate against a person on the bases of, inter alia, race, color, creed, religion, and national origin. 242. In addition, under section 363A.08, subd. 3(b), it is an unfair employment practice

for an employment agency to “comply with a request from an employer for referral of applicants for employment if the request indicates directly or indirectly that the employer fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter.” 243. By engaging in the conduct described herein as both an employer of certain

Plaintiffs and members of the putative class and an employment agency, Defendant Work Connection violated and continues to violate Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, subd. 2 and subd. 3(a)-(b) and, as a result, Plaintiffs and putative class members have been continuously and unlawfully denied equal employment opportunities by Defendant. 244. The individual disparate treatment suffered by Plaintiffs and putative class

members is part of a pattern and practice of general discriminatory treatment toward members of Plaintiffs’ protected classes. 245. Defendant Work Connection has maintained a system of employment which

unreasonably excludes persons seeking employment on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, and national origin and has discriminated against Plaintiffs and members of the putative class with respect to hiring, disciplining, promoting, conditions, facilities, and privileges of employment because of their race, color, creed, religion, and national origin.

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246.

Defendant Work Connection’s unfair and discriminatory employment practices

have a disparate impact on Plaintiffs and members of the putative class. 247. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of Defendant Work Connection’s

unfair and discriminatory employment practices in violation of Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, subd. 3, Plaintiffs and members of the putative class have been damaged. 248. Plaintiffs and putative class members are entitled to back pay, compensatory and

punitive damages, and damages for mental anguish or suffering as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees. SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION AS TO DEFENDANT WORK CONNECTION AIDING AND ABETTING DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF MINN. STAT. § 363A.14 249. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 250. Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. § 363A.14(2) (2006) provides that it

is an unfair discriminatory practice for any person: “[i]ntentionally to attempt to aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce a person to engage in any of the practices forbidden by this chapter.” 251. By engaging in the conduct described herein, Defendant Work Connection has

aided and abetted discrimination by Defendant Gold’n Plump in violation Minn. Stat. § 363A.14(2). Defendant Work Connection’s wrongful conduct includes, by way of example and not by limitation: requiring Somali applicants seeking employment with Gold’n Plump to sign waiver or consent forms described herein as the “prayer form” or “pork form;” and denying employment to Somali applicants seeking employment with Gold’n Plump where the applicants refuse to sign either the prayer or pork forms.

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252.

Upon information and belief, the foregoing allegations represent a continuous and

on-going violation of Minn. Stat. § 363A.14(2). 253. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of Defendant Work Connection’s

unfair employment practice of aiding and abetting discrimination by Defendant Gold’n Plump in violation of Minn. Stat. § 363A.14(2), Plaintiffs and members of the putative class have been damaged. 254. Plaintiffs and putative class members are entitled to back pay, compensatory and

punitive damages, and damages for mental anguish or suffering as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees. EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION AS TO BOTH DEFENDANTS UNFAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES IN VIOLATION OF MINN. STAT. § 363A.08 BROUGHT BY PLAINTIFF SOBANIA 255. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set

forth in the preceding paragraphs. 256. Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, subdivisions 2 and 3,

broadly forbid employment discrimination by employers and employment agencies against applicants and employees on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, and national origin. 257. Section 363A.28 of the Act provides, in relevant part, that “[a]ny person

aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may bring a civil action as provided in section 363A.33, subdivision 1.” 258. By engaging in the conduct described herein, Defendants violated Minn. Stat. §

363A.08 and, as a result, Plaintiff Sobania harmed. 259. Specifically, Plaintiff Sobania has an interest and a right in a work environment

free of discrimination against protected classes. By engaging in the discriminatory acts alleged

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herein, Defendants violated Plaintiff Sobania’s personal right to work in an environment unaffected by racial discrimination. 260. Plaintiff Sobania was subjected to a discriminatory work environment; a loss of

important benefits from interracial, interethnic, and interreligious associations; a loss of interpersonal contacts between members of different races, ethnic groups, national origins and religions when Defendants discriminated against Somali Muslim applicants and employees with respect to hiring, promotion, employment benefits, and other terms of employment; and a general deprivation of the benefits of an integrated working environment. 261. Plaintiff Sobania was deeply offended and suffered emotional distress because of

Defendants’ discriminatory actions. 262. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of Defendants’ unfair and

discriminatory employment practices in violation of Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, subdivisions 2 and 3, Plaintiff Sobania has been damaged. 263. Plaintiff Sobania is entitled to compensatory and punitive damages, damages for

mental anguish or suffering, as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees. PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs Aware Daud, Khadija Jama, Abdiaziz Ali Abdi, Sahra Farah, Anab Ibrahim, Fowsiya Gelle, Kiin Farah, Lul Esse Hersi, and Kasha Anna Sobania, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, respectfully request that this Court: 1. 2. Certify this as a proper class action; Enter a declaratory judgment that the practices complained of herein are unlawful

and violate 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985, 1986, and 1981, and the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 363A.08, 363A.14, and 363A.15;

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3.

Enter a preliminary and permanent injunction against Defendants and their

officers, agents, successors, employees, representatives, and any and all persons acting in concert with them, from engaging in each of the unlawful policies, practices, customs, and usages set forth herein; 4. Enter an order that Defendants institute and carry out polices, practices, and

programs that provide equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees, and that it eradicate the effects of its past and present unlawful employment practices; 5. Enter an order restoring Plaintiffs and the Class to their rightful positions at

Gold’n Plump, or, in lieu of reinstatements, an order for front pay benefits; 6. members; 7. Award compensatory damages to be paid to Plaintiffs and the Class for an amount Award back pay (including interest and benefits) to Plaintiffs and certified class

that can be ascertained from records and other evidence; 8. Award all damages sustained as a result of Defendants’ conduct, including

damages for emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment, and anguish, according to proof; 9. Award punitive damages for Defendants’ malicious and reckless conduct as

described herein, in amounts to be determined at trial; 10. Award Plaintiffs and the Class costs incurred herein, including reasonable

attorneys’ fees to the extent allowable by law; and 11. Grant such further relief as the Court deems necessary and proper.

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Dated this 6th day of October, 2006. LARSON • KING, LLP

s/T. Joseph Snodgrass T. Joseph Snodgrass, #231071 Shawn M. Raiter, #240424 Kelly A. Swanson #330838 Troy F. Tatting #354156 2800 Wells Fargo Place 30 East 7th Street St. Paul, MN 55101 (651) 312-6500 ZIMMERMAN REED, P.L.L.P. J. Gordon Rudd, Jr., #222082 Anne T. Regan #333852 651 Nicollet Mall, Suite 501 Minneapolis, MN 55402 (612) 341-0400 McSWEENEY & FAY Rhett McSweeney #269542 Michael J. Fay #267557 800 Washington Avenue North, Suite 506 Minneapolis, MN 55401 (612) 333-6900 ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS AND PROPOSED CLASS REPRESENTATIVES
1176826

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