EEOC accuses UPS of discrimination for banning beards, long hair without religious exception

MarketsAssociated Press

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is accusing United Parcel Service Inc. of discriminating against employees who wear beards or long hair for religious reasons.

The EEOC sued the Atlanta-based shipping company on Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn.

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The lawsuit says UPS prohibits men who interact with customers or who hold supervisor positions from growing beards or hair below the collar. It accuses the company of violating federal civil rights law by not making exceptions for religion.

The EEOC says in one case, a bearded Muslim employee was told he would have to shave to get a driver's job. It says he was told, "God would understand" if he shaved.

UPS denied the accusations in a statement on Wednesday.