Unwilling to negotiate in good faith with the American Mustache Institute on a matter deemed a civil liberties violation, the U.S. government, at the urging of AMI,  sued United Parcel Service (UPS) on Wednesday. In its legal brief, the federal government accused the nation’s largest package delivery company of discriminating against employees who must wear beards or hair below their collar for religious reasons.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 3.48.16 PM“We had what we thought were productive conversations with UPS’s leadership team,” said Dr. Adam Paul Causgrove, AMI chief executive officer.

The suit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, refers to Muslim and Rastafarian employees who were barred by UPS from growing a beard or denied a religious accommodation for dreadlocks. UPS’s beard ban violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against their workers because of their religion, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In early February, AMI laid out its position to UPS:

It is our position that UPS has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of the inevitable acceptance of those across the spectrum of face fur.  We are prepared to offer the services and insights of our highly capable and good looking faculty to assist in the implementation of new guidelines regarding facial hair, and would be happy to do so free of charge.  

UPS’s discrimination, according to the suit, also applies to the company’s failure to hire or promote employees who don’t pass the appearance rules.

“No person should be forced to choose between their religion and a paycheck,” said Robert Rose, regional attorney for EEOC’s New York office.

The unidentified Rastafarian supervisor in Fort Lauderdale was told by his manager that he “did not want any employees looking like women” on his team, according to the suit. An unidentified Muslim customer service rep in Brooklyn was ordered by a supervisor to shave his beard or he would be fired, the suit said.

“We pity the short-sighted nature of UPS,” added Dr. Causgrove. “Hopefully now they will come to the table.”

You’re welcome.







mustache, beard, moustache, facial hair


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