UPS's no-beard policy hit with religious discrimination suit

A Muslim who applied for a driver helper position with UPS in Rochester, N.Y., was told he would have to shave the beard he wore as part of his religious practice in order to qualify for the position. “God would understand,” if he trimmed it, the applicant was told, and if he chose not to, he could apply for a lower paying job.

That allegation and others like it are included in a lawsuit filed against UPS by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y. that accuses the shipping giant of “violat[ing] federal law by discriminating against applicants and employees around the country whose religious practices conflicted with its uniform and appearance policy.”

Interesting how nebulous the religious discrimination issue is.I guess it depends on whose ox is being gored!:rolleyes:

Meanwhile, in Missouri, our mailman just went by in dark blue floral shorts and a purple tank top. No one cares if the package delivery service has a beard or not. Just let the guy wear his beard.

Hahaha. Seriously? :slight_smile:

Good point, though. It really doesn’t matter. Our mailman has a beard. That rule seems a bit silly.

Either that, or I need to report a stolen mail truck.

All I care about with postmen (as we call them here) is that they a) deliver the post on time and are b)courteous. Many of the postmen in this area of London are Muslim and have beards and I couldn’t care less. Seems a tempest in a teapot.


I wish we had a mailman like that. Haha.

I work at UPS, and with several bearded guys. However, we’re in the hub loading the 18 wheelers.

Strange. I have had a beard forever it seems like, even in an office environment. I never once got a complaint. Good thing too as I would hate to part with it.

Being a UPS driver is hard work. Your not going to attract these grocery store teenage golden boys to drive a big step van truck, slinging around heavy packages in the summer heat. What gives UPS?

It’s always been the policy of UPS…
…The individual knew this “going in”.
…“Professional Victim’ism” going on here, nothing more.

I disagree, I see it as a valid complaint, just as I’d see it as such if if the company refused to hire a Sikh because of wearing a turban or similar issues.

Normally an individual seeking a job who is concerned about possible religious conflicts checks it out first…
…This would be like applying to Oscar Meyer then refusing to handle pork products.
…Or applying to be a Police Officer then filing a lawsuit because they want you to shave your beard.

UPS ( Like Law Enforcement ) requires it’s employees to “wear a uniform” & comply with a certain “Dress Code”…
…This includes facial hair.

It’s simple, it’s logical, it’s the way it is.

In the UK a Muslim would be allowed to retain a beard if he was a police officer or a turban if a Sikh and so forth.

I guess the UK has figured out how to appease Muslims or others when their religious convictions are at odds with a job they want…
…Perhaps they are willing to change the way they do things over there to accommodate ones religious beliefs.
…I wonder how that’s working out for Christians with Christian beliefs?

Ah yes this gambit. The UK is not my own nation but let’s be fair it’s raised some outstanding regiments from non-Christian backgrounds in it’s army who in their day were amongst the best in the world. The British police don’t really care what religion you are and most Christians here are nominally so at best and that is not the fault of Muslims or others.

Pythons, you are being somewhat unfair. It is perfectly acceptable for exceptions to be made to a uniform policy to incorporate religious beliefs, as far as it is practical. If I wish to wear my scapular or miraculous medal, that is my right. If a postman wishes to keep his beard as part of a religious observance, that is also his right.

That’s an article of jewelry - and yes it is ( or should be ) a right to follow your religious convictions ( please don’t get me wrong )…
…What I’m saying is itsNOT an individuals right to change a thing so that fits with their Religion.
…That’s what I’m saying.

Here is an example:

An Observant Jew tries out for the NFL and make the cut…
…The guy is told many games are on Saturday & he has to be there.
…Filled with religious zeal the man files suit against the NFL.

Using your logic they should accommodate his religious belief, right?

I understand your point, but there is a difference between religious beliefs that have a negative impact on the person’s ability to carry out a job and practices which have no effect whatsoever. It would be fair not to employ a Jewish NFL player if he could not meet up to his quota of games, but the postman’s beard has no impact whatsoever on his job and forcing him to remove it violates his religious freedom.

Exactly. I cold not care a whit if my postman or a bloke delivering things to my door has a beard, wear a turban, crucifix etc. So long as the delivers items a) on time and b)undamaged and is c)polite it’s irrelevant.

I’m curious, if this man is allowed to keep his beard could a Christian man grow a beard and when told to shave bring a discrimination suit against UPS too on different grounds ( haven’t thought of one but there is bound to be something), so would it be better to do away with the no beard policy altogether?

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