Written by Don Byrd
United Parcel Service (UPS) has settled a lawsuit filed by the EEOC alleging the company failed to accommodate the religious exercise requirements of employees and job candidates. Specifically, UPS was accused of discriminating against male employees whose faith requires hair or beard length longer than that allowed by company rules. As a result, the EEOC claimed, members of certain faiths were routinely passed over in hiring and promotion decisions since 2015.
The Buffalo News reports that UPS has agreed to pay $4.9 million to settle the lawsuit while not agreeing with the EEOC’s findings or admitting any fault. The company also will update its training and employment advertisement policies, and more:
UPS will also train its managers, supervisors and human resources personnel nationwide about religious accommodations, and advertise on its internal and external websites that it offers religious accommodations. It will report its religious appearance accommodation requests to the EEOC so the agency can monitor the effectiveness of the consent decree it reached with the company. The company said it “willingly agreed” to the additional training and policy “enhancements” because they are “wholly consistent with the company’s deeply held diversity inclusion and fair employment values.”
As EEOC attorney Jeffrey Burnstein said, no worker should have to “choose between violating their religious beliefs and advancing their careers at UPS.”