Following a lawsuit filed against clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch Inc for discrimination based on an applicant’s appearance due to religious reasons, shipping giant United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) is now facing a similar suit by current and potential employees
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that UPS discrimination targeted men who wore their hair long or had beards based on their religious convictions. The EEOC states in the suit that UPS has a long history of not hiring or promoting men to supervisor or drivers if their hair fell the level dictated by their company-wide policy for appearance. The company does, however, allow for beards and long hair on its non-supervisor employees that work in departments that have no customer contact, such as package handling.
The lawsuit cites multiple examples of alleged religious discrimination on the part of UPS, including telling applicant Bilal Addullah that “God would understand” if the Muslim man shaved his beard in order to be eligible to be a delivery driver. He was told he could try for a position as a package handler but was ultimately not hired for either department. Another example given is of a Rastafarian load supervisor that was told to cut his dreadlocks by his manager because the manager “didn’t want any employees looking like women”.
In response to the discrimination allegations, UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg said “UPS respects religious differences and is confident in the legality of its employment practices. The company will review this case, and defend its practices that demonstrate a proven track record for accommodation”.
We are interested to know how your thoughts about EEOC v. United Parcel Service Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 15-04141. Let us know your thoughts on our social media pages: