EEOC wins right to review UPS' no-beard policy nationally

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by drpepperlover, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. drpepperlover

    drpepperlover New Member

    EEOC wins battle over UPS discrimination records

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission wanted records from United Parcel Service to determine whether UPS was violating the religious rights of employees. UPS said no. The district court said no. The Court of Appeals says yes. EEOC gets the records.

    The case is EEOC v. United Parcel Service (08-5348-cv), decided on November 19. EEOC is charged with investigating employment discrimination claims. Two UPS employees (one in Buffalo, the other in Texas) claimed the company would not allow them to wear beards as required by their religious observances, despite the company's policy to grant exemptions from the no-beards policy.

    This is what the EEOC's subpoena demanded from UPS:
    (1) all documents related to the Appearance Guidelines and a list of all jobs which are subject to the Guidelines; (2) identifying information for all job applicants denied employment because of their refusal to adhere to the Appearance Guidelines since January 1, 2004; (3) identifying information for all employees who requested a religious accommodation to the Appearance Guidelines and the outcomes of those requests since January 1, 2004; and (4) identifying information for all employees who were terminated for reasons relating to the Appearance Guidelines since January 1, 2004.
    The district court found that the subpoena was overly broad and sought national information not relevant to the individual charges. The Court of Appeals (Newman, Katzmann and Trager, D.J.) reverses.

    Under Second Circuit case law, trial courts have a limited role in enforcing administrative subpoenas like this. "To obtain enforcement of an administrative subpoena, '[a]n agency must show only [1] that the investigation will be conducted pursuant to a legitimate purpose, [2] that the inquiry may be relevant to the purpose, [3] that the information sought is not already within [the agency’s] possession, and [4] that the administrative steps required ... have been followed.'" The Court adds, "A subpoena that satisfies these criteria will be enforced unless the party opposing enforcement demonstrates that the subpoena is unreasonable or that compliance would be 'unnecessarily burdensome.'” Also, the company cannot reject the subpoena on the ground that it believes the discrimination claims are meritless.

    The information requested here is relevant to EEOC's investigation, and the district court applied too restrictive a legal standard in sustaining UPS's objection. Not only did the company's physical appearance policy apply to UPS offices around the country, but company policy promises to evenly apply the religious exemption. Yet, the two complainants here were not given the chance to secure an exemption, and one of them was told there was no exemption policy. He also alleged in his EEOC complaint that UPS had a pattern and practice of failing to accommodate employees who wanted the religious exemption. Without too many citations from Supreme Court and Second Circuit authority, the Court of Appeals upholds the subpoena and in effect awards EEOC the requested documents.
  2. bigblu 2 you

    bigblu 2 you Active Member

    im half amish ,i think i will tell my boss tomorrow that i wont be shaving anymore.
  3. PT Stewie

    PT Stewie "Big Fella"

    How about the rasta men? UPS has really broken chops over having dreads.
  4. stevetheupsguy

    stevetheupsguy sʇǝʌǝʇɥǝndsƃnʎ

  5. tarbar66

    tarbar66 Active Member

    Steve, My thoughts exactly. I shaved every day that I came to work at UPS where and when it was required. I did not shave everyday when I worked in the hub or when I was a fulltime shifter.

    Did I want to shave every day? No, but I did because it was made quite clear when I applied & I may have even signed a paper acknowledging this dress & grooming code.
  6. MethodsMan2

    MethodsMan2 New Member

    Look at the other side of the picture brother. How many papers did you sign and UPS changed what was once a given? A contract is a contract or is it really a contract? I shave everyday too but it would be nice not to have to do so if I didn't want to.
  7. Golfcart man

    Golfcart man New Member

    Everyone would like to not shave. We all knew the rules when we signed up. You have the weekends and how ever many weeks you are entitled to with your years of service. It is part of the dress code. Our nice brown uniforms and clean shaved face with or without a mustache. Clean shaved and clean cut sets us apart from the competitors. Our brown uniform is our dress suit and a clean shaved face is what folks have when they put there suit on.
  8. Highwayman

    Highwayman Member

    I would love to grow a beard for the winter. Always let it grow when I'm on vacation. Shaving sucks.:smart:
  9. My two cents...When we went from suits & ties to Business Casual or whatever it's called, there was an obvious difference in appearance. Sub crews wear beards, UPS Drivers need to be clean shaven. It's a matter of appearance
  10. 1989

    1989 Well-Known Member

    When was there ever a problem with having a beard? I know several drivers that were allowed to have beards. Well maybe only just one.
  11. My only point is that one looks much better being clean shaven. That's all; no comments on rights, Contracts, or whether I am right or wrong; just an opinion
  12. Tony31yrs

    Tony31yrs New Member

    I stopped shaving the day I retired. I keep it neat and trimmed. I always felt that if they could tell us how to wear our hair, they could tell us how to keep our beards. I hated shaving every day. Most of my customers wouldn't have cared if I had a trimmed beard. A lot of them were surprised when I told them we couldn't have them while the USPS, FEDEX and others could. I see a lot of guys who look better with a trimmed beard than some clean-shaved guys with bad hair.
  13. stevetheupsguy

    stevetheupsguy sʇǝʌǝʇɥǝndsƃnʎ

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

  14. Only in America.

    A policy in place for over a hundred years.

    A policy that provides for our professional image.

    A policy that is a pain in the *ss, but everyone knows it is a good policy.

    Some guys can grow real nice looking beards and keep them well groomed, but all guys are different. I see those FDX and USPS with the scraggily face hair, undefined borders and an overall unkempt look.

    Right or wrong, its an untrustworthy appearance.

    UPS provides the customer with a subtle confidence and reliance with our appearance guidelines.
    These guidelines are only a part of our overall professional image with our customers. If you buy a BigMac in Los Angeles or Moscow, you know what to expect when you bite into it. You know what its going to taste like.

    Our uniform, shoes, methods, sense of urgency mentality, package cars, APPEARANCE guidelines all contribute to that end, what the customer is expecting.

    There are those customers who are surprised about our beard policy, but I am sure those same customers would be appalled if UPS drivers (particularly utility drivers) started showing up with half baked whiskers, stubble, five o'clock shadows, goatees, Vandykes. Next thing you know, here come the mullets.

    But I digress, here is my two cents.

    If you apply for a job where you must wear brown, and you don't like brown for WHATEVER reason, then there are other jobs where you don't have to wear brown. Lots of them.

    You can see more with your eyes open.
  15. Also....

    Why don't these two UPS employees and the EEOC see if this can fly in the military.

    No beards there...... must be an appearance thing, like representing your country.
  16. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    problem is subjectivness.

    clean shaven, no problem, you have no problem telling someone that is clean shaven.

    neat looking facial hair, now that is when you get to be subjective.

    there are a lot of neat looking business men with facial hair that is groomed very well. but there are a lot that are not.

    and to come down on those that would try to make a mockery of what being neatly groomed when it comes to facial hair.......well, as has been posted, its a can of worms ups chose not to buy.

  17. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    You may wish to research before you post. While the military does have strict grooming guidelines (AFR 35-10), they will also grant shaving waivers for certain medical conditions, usually ingrown hairs common among African Americans.
  18. point taken....

    I was shooting from the hip on that one.

    The military is overwhelming beard free, though.
    Lasted edited by : Jan 10, 2010
  19. bluehdmc

    bluehdmc Well-Known Member

    Yes UPS has been "beard free" for 100yrs. They were also earring free (men) for how many years?
    Now men can have 1 earring, some have lonngg hair, I know supposed to be "up" but how often is that enforced for both men and women?
    UPS drivers used to wear police style caps, and ties, but now don't have to.
    Yes someone's opinion of "neatly groomed" can vary but that can also apply to pressed uniforms, etc.
    You couldn't wear shorts until how many years ago?
    What would a customer think of a driver who comes in when the temp is below 25* wearing shorts, with long hair even if it is tucked up under a net, and an earring?
    All of which can be allowed under current guidelines.
    Yes the military is relatively beard free, I think the Navy allows them to conserve water on ship.
    (I may be wrong but back when I was in the service in the 70's they were allowed but you had to have your ID card changed and other hassles, I was in the Army and hated shaving everyday.)
    I was told in the Army it was because your gas mask could seal against your face, you also polished your boots because it helped waterproof them.
    Someones opinion of a beard is just that an opinion, many professionals have them, (think doctors, lawyers, etc), would you refuse an ER doctor because he has a beard and longish hair?
  20. stevetheupsguy

    stevetheupsguy sʇǝʌǝʇɥǝndsƃnʎ

    As is Publix supermarkets, here in the southeast. I think I would shave even if we were allowed beards. I think I'm much prettier sans facial hair.