UPS, based in Louisville, Kentucky and FedEx are two of the largest package delivery companies in the world. However, even this worldwide presence does not mean either company may not discriminate against their employees. Two recent lawsuits against UPS and Fed Ex allege just that.
The case against UPS involves an employee who was hired as a truck loader in New Jersey but never got to work a single day because he was fired before he could start. The new employee was a Jehovah's Witness, and he was scheduled to start in the spring on the same day as the Memorial of Christ's Death, a celebrated annually by his faith. He asked that he be able to start on a different day, start at a different time, or have an hour off during his shift to attend the service. His request was denied, and not only was he terminated, but he was also marked as someone who should never be hired again at UPS. After trying unsuccessfully to settle the matter with UPS, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the company at the end of November, 2012.
In Utah, a driver employed by FedEx was allegedly terminated because of his accent. The employee had lived in Russia until 2005, when he and his family fled and became political refugees in the U.S. He started driving for a company that operates FedEx trucks in 2009 and did not seem to have any problems until the fall of 2012. Apparently someone at an Iowa weigh station sent a warning to FedEx that one of their drivers was unable to communicate. FedEx then allegedly notified the company that employed the driver that he had to be terminated. The driver was fired without ever speaking to anyone at FedEx or being given a chance to prove his English abilities and he became an independent truck driver. He filed a national origin discrimination lawsuit on November 23, 2012 in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Both of these individuals appear to have been discriminated against at work, which directly violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under this law, employees or potential employees cannot be discriminated against because of their religion or national origin - which pertains to the above two cases - as well as race and gender. Employees that have been discriminated against can contact a personal injury attorney in their state or their local EEOC representative. If an amicable resolution does not occur, a discrimination lawsuit can be filed to request job reinstatement and/or monetary compensation to cover lost income and benefits, and emotional distress caused by the employment discrimination. Punitive damages may also be requested to punish the defendant for its illegal actions and deter similar action in the future. The Kentucky employment law attorneys at Miller and Falkner have helped numerous Kentucky and Indiana workers receive the justice they deserved after being discriminated against at work.
UPS sued by EEOC for Religious Discrimination; EEOC; December 3, 2012
FedEx driver fired over accent? ABC15; November 29, 2012