http://www.eeoc.gov/ UPS SUED FOR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST RASTAFARIAN EEOC Charges United Parcel Service with Religious Bias due to 'No Beard' Policy NEWARK, N.J. - Global shipping giant United Parcel Service (UPS) committed religious discrimination at its Secaucus, N.J., facilities, by refusing to hire a Rastafarian as a driver helper because of his beard, which he wore for religious purposes, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges in a lawsuit. EEOC says that UPS required Ronnis Mason to shave his beard if he were to be hired for that position helping with customer deliveries and requiring customer contact. Mason wears his beard as part of his observance of Rastafarianism, a Jamaican-born religion with around one million adherents in the world. Mason explained to UPS that he could not shave his beard, and UPS told him that he could then only apply for an "inside," lower paying position that would not have contact with the public. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees' and applicants' sincerely held religious beliefs as long as this does not pose an undue hardship. The EEOC alleges that by refusing to accommodate Mason's religion and by not permitting him to work as a driver helper, UPS interfered with Mason's employment opportunities and ability to make a better living in the higher-paid position he sought. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. "Employers are not permitted to deny an individual equal opportunities because of that person's religion, and the EEOC will seek full relief against employers who discriminate," said Elizabeth Grossman, the EEOC's New York District regional attorney. Spencer H. Lewis, Jr, director for the EEOC's New York District Office, added, "Employees are entitled to an accommodation of their sincerely held religious beliefs and practices they should not be hidden from the public in the back room or paid inferior wages simply because they are practicing their religion." SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES No. 97—1992 VAUGHN L. MURPHY, PETITIONER v. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT [June 22, 1999] Justice O’Connor delivered the opinion of the Court. Respondent United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), dismissed petitioner Vaughn L. Murphy from his job as a UPS mechanic because of his high blood pressure. Petitioner filed suit under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA or Act), 104 Stat. 328, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., in Federal District Court. The District Court granted summary judgment to respondent, and the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed. We must decide whether the Court of Appeals correctly considered petitioner in his medicated state when it held that petitioner’s impairment does not “substantially limi[t]” one or more of his major life activities and whether it correctly determined that petitioner is not “regarded as disabled.” See §12102(2). In light of our decision in Sutton v. United Air Lines, Inc., ante, p. ____, we conclude that the Court of Appeals’ resolution of both issues was correct. EEOC v. United Parcel Service No. 02-C-6305 (N.D. Ill. September 2, 2003) In this ADA lawsuit, the Chicago District Office alleged that defendant, a nationwide delivery service, discriminated against charging party, a feeder driver, based on his disability (insulin-dependent diabetes) by failing to transfer him to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation. Charging party, who had worked for defendant as a tractor-trailer driver for approximately 15 years, was first diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 1998. In July 1998 he suffered a hypoglycemic episode while driving which caused him to become disoriented and to crash his truck. Thereafter, he was removed from driving duties and placed on short-term disability leave. Despite repeated attempts, charging party was unable to obtain a non-driving position with defendant. The case was resolved through a settlement agreement for payment of $149,999 ($74,999.50 in back pay and $74,999.50 in non-wage damages) to charging party. Defendant agrees to provide a positive letter of reference to charging party and to not contest his application for state unemployment benefits. EEOC v. United Parcel Service No. 01-00342 SPK KSC (D. Hawaii Dec. 12, 2003) In this Title VII action, the San Francisco District Office alleged that Defendant, a national package delivery firm that is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, discriminated against charging party, an African American driver in its Kahului-Maui, Hawaii terminal, by firing him because of his race. The district office claimed that defendant's reasons for discharging charging party insubordination and use of profanity were pretextual because defendant administered less severe discipline to non-Black coworkers who engaged in similar or substantially worse behavior. The case was resolved by a two-year consent decree that applies to UPS locations in Hawaii. Defendant is required to pay charging party $150,000 and to provide him with a letter of reference which includes a statement that defendant received letters from customers commenting favorably on charging party's treatment of them. Defendant will create a two-hour training program to instruct all current supervisory and managerial staff on nondiscrimination laws, disparate treatment discrimination, and the company's anti-discrimination policies and complaint procedures. Defendant is also obligated to conduct nondiscrimination training by videotape or computer for all new supervisors and managers within thirty days of their employment. Finally, Defendant must distribute its nondiscrimination policies to all of its Hawaii employees and all new hires and post them in conspicuous locations at all Hawaii facilities.