The world’s largest package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc., to settle a class religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will pay $4.9 million and also provide other relief, the federal agency announced last Friday.
EEOC said that male employees in supervisory or customer contact positions, including delivery drivers has been prohibited by the UPS from growing their hair below collar length or wearing beards.
UPS, since at least Jan. 1, 2005 in its facilities throughout the United States, not only failed to promote or hire the individuals having religious practices inconsistent with its appearance policy but also remained failed to accommodate such individuals to its appearance policy on religious grounds, as alleged by EEOC in lawsuit.
Further alleging EEOC stated that employees maintaining beards or long hairs as per their religious beliefs have been separated out by the UPS into back-of-the-facility positions without customer contact and non-supervisory roles, hence violated the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals on their religious affiliation and requires employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Through its conciliation process, EEOC first attempted to reach any settlement prior to litigation, but after not coming to an agreement, filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on July15, 2015.
On December 21, 2018, Judge Margo K. Brodie, passed a five-year consent decree to resolve the suit, under the term of which, to a class of current and former applicants and employees, as identified by EEOC, UPS will pay $4.9 million.
AccORDING TO EEOC, towards non monetary relief, UPS, for applicants and employees, will also be amending its religious accommodation process along with publicizing its availability on internal and external websites, and will be providing nationwide training to the personnel at management, supervisory and HR positions, said EEOC.