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Monday, November 11, 2013

Global Shipping Giant Agrees to Settle Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

In time with the upcoming holiday season, the global shipping giant United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) has finally agreed to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of its former employee.

According to the agency’s official press release, UPS has agreed to pay $70,000 monetary relief and to provide other significant injunctive relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit.

In the said lawsuit, EEOC claimed that UPS wrongfully terminated Saddle Brook a few days after he allegedly requested for a change in schedule in order to attend an annual religious service sometime in April, 2011.

Brook is a member of Jehova’s Witness church. Reports revealed that he worked at UPS as a part time loader in one of its U.S. facilities. Unfortunately, her request for a schedule change was denied by her supervisor until he was eventually fired few days later.

The EEOC has claimed that such failure to grant reasonable accommodation as well as the decision to terminate the complainant clearly constituted religious discrimination. The lawsuit has further affirmed that the complainant was placed on a company-wide “do no rehire” list and was unable to get another job with the UPS after re-applying elsewhere after being terminated.

UPS clearly violated the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which includes prohibition against employment discrimination on the basis of religion.

“We are pleased that this resolution puts mechanism in place to make it clear that employees are entitled to reasonable accommodation of their religious practices,” said the EEOC’s regional attorney for New York District Office, Elizabeth Grossman.

“Religious discrimination in the workplace cannot be tolerated. Business have a clear legal duty under federal law to handle requests for religious accommodations from their employees with due amount of consideration,” said the EEOC’s trial attorney, Charles F. Coleman Jr.,

Subsequently, after the said news has reached California, a labor lawyer contended that although California is an at-will employment state, it however does not permit wrongful termination as well. Thus, in that event, the expertise of a labor lawyer would be crucial.

Christmas is a time of gift-giving. People usually take this season as the best opportunity to send their Christmas treats-full package to their loved ones across the globe. Apparently, UPS is one of the leading global shipping companies. So, probably in an aim to minimize pressure during this peak season, the shipping giant finally opted to end its legal predicament by settling the lawsuit.

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