U.S. agency sues UPS for religious discrimination

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 15, 2015 12:39 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued United Parcel Service Inc, accusing the world's largest package delivery company of discriminating against male employees who wore beards or long hair because of their religion.

In a complaint filed on Wednesday in the Brooklyn, New York, federal court, the EEOC claimed UPS has failed since at least 2004 to hire, promote and accommodate men whose religious practices conflicted with the Atlanta-based company's uniform and appearance policy.

The lawsuit mentioned several religious groups.

The policy forbids male supervisors and male employees including drivers who come in contact with customers from wearing beards or growing their hair below collar length, according to the EEOC.

UPS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit was filed 1-1/2 months after the U.S. Supreme Court revived a discrimination lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch Inc by a Muslim woman who said the clothing retailer refused to hire her for a store sales job because she wore a head scarf.

Abercrombie claimed the head scarf did not comply with

its dress code, but the court ruled on June 1 that the refusal to hire the woman may have been motivated by a desire not to accommodate her religious practices.

The case is EEOC v. United Parcel Service Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 15-04141.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)