UPS Loses Lawsuit over New Jersey Job Applicant’s Beard

February 2, 2009

UPS has been ordered to pay $10,000 to a Jersey City, New Jersey man denied a job because his Rastafarian religious beliefs forbid him from shaving his 1-inch beard.

The verdict was handed down Friday by a federal jury in Trenton in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

It claimed the Atlanta-based courier discriminated against 31-year-old Roniss Mason by failing to make an exception to its appearance guidelines to accommodate his religious beliefs. He had applied in 2004 for a seasonal job as a driver’s assistant.

UPS said it plans to appeal the verdict.

Susan Rosenberg, a company spokeswoman, said UPS has a longstanding policy of accommodating religious beliefs. She said Mason was offered a different job, which he declined.


Information from: The Star-Ledger

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