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UPS sued for demanding Muslim shave beard

UPS sued for demanding Muslim shave beard

Published: 10 Feb 2011 12:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Feb 2011 12:48 GMT+01:00

Sweden's Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen, DO) has filed a lawsuit against parcel delivery company United Parcel Service (UPS) after the company dismissed a Muslim driver who refused to shave his beard.

In a lawsuit filed with Sweden's Labour Court (Arbetsdomstolen) on Monday, the ombudsman argued that the company should pay the man, a resident of Spånga northest of Stockholm, 150,000 kronor ($23,000) in compensation plus 42,000 kronor in lost income, as well as interest on both amounts.

"The rule has no legitimate purpose and is not appropriate and necessary," wrote Anders Wilhelmsson, the ombudsman office lawyer representing the man, in the filing.

The man was employed in June 2010 by the Uniflex staffing company, which intended to subcontract him to UPS as a driver. The contract was to last through the summer until August 31st, but the stated aim was a permanent position with UPS if all went well, according to DO.

During the recruitment process, the man was informed that UPS had a uniform policy under which drivers were not allowed to have beards. During the recruitment process, no one asked if he was prepared to shave his beard.

In addition, his beard growth was very minimal. As such, he believed his beard would not be a problem.

The man began his employment at UPS on June 7th, 2010. The first week was devoted to training. During that time, no one remarked about his beard, according to the lawsuit.

However, the following Monday just before his first run, his immediate supervisor told him he had to shave the beard the next day.

Since there were other colleagues in the vicinity, the man waited until the afternoon to speak to his supervisor again, but was nevertheless unable to make contact with his boss until the following morning.

The man told his supervisor that he was a Muslim and it was against his religious convictions to shave his beard.

The supervisor said it sounded strange to him because there were other Muslims at UPS who had shaved their beards, reiterating the policy was in place so that drivers would look clean and neat and that a beard was unacceptable.

According to the lawsuit, the man explained that there are different interpretations of Islam. He asked if it was possible to grant him an exemption since he had religious reasons and it was not a large beard.

The supervisor said he would discuss the issue with human resources and get back to him. At the end of the workday, the man was told by another manager that UPS stood by its policy and the company could not make any exceptions.

The man emphasised that it was a difficult decision for him because he wanted to remain at UPS, but that he had thought through the whole situation carefully and stood behind his stance.

The manager then informed the man that his contract would be terminated and asked him to return his uniform. Since the man's position at Uniflex was dependent on the contract, he also lost his job at Uniflex the following day.

The ombudsman argued in its lawsuit that the company's ban on beards was difficult to fulfill as it touched on decisions based on one's religion or beliefs.

As such, the man was disadvantaged by the application of an ostensibly neutral rule that could specifically discriminate against people with religious beliefs.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:37 February 10, 2011 by engagebrain
If a Swedish news reader can get away without shaving then this is a ridiculous rule - all about companies extending their control beyond working hours.

A uniform you can take off at the days ends
14:41 February 10, 2011 by Jack Mehoff
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:02 February 10, 2011 by engagebrain
Just because it is a known UPS policy does not mean they will or deserve to win.

Companies cannot just invent rules for employees that affect their private or even religious lives. Who cares if a van driver has beard.

If UPS win a sensible response would be to boycott UPS - set up a rule that deliveries can only be made by drivers with beards - stick on beards would be available for those who refused to grow one or were unable to grow one.
15:13 February 10, 2011 by Swedesmith
Yes they can invent the rules. If you don't like the rules, don't work there.
15:14 February 10, 2011 by riose
Shave his head!

We need UPS Marines!
15:21 February 10, 2011 by Localer
another way for them to makes more money from so called discrimination
15:23 February 10, 2011 by UScitizen
Any company has the right to apply and enforce a uniform dress code, which can include restrictions about personal grooming. This is just another person who thinks he can get a free ride (and probably will!) from the so called Swedish "justice" system.
15:27 February 10, 2011 by Nemesis
UPS has always had a policy of no chin hair since its inception.

Any employee will know that. It is in there work guidelines. In Ireland it is in there application for a job guidelines.
15:34 February 10, 2011 by Jack Mehoff
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:35 February 10, 2011 by engagebrain
The supporters of individual liberty seem to be out in force.

It is not about Muslims, it is about personnel freedom and companies controlling employee's lives.

Whether a driver has a beard or is clean shaven makes absolutely no difference to the performance of his job - what he company buys from you.

Are the posters suggesting that if company demanded that employees had beards this would be OK too ?
15:40 February 10, 2011 by Swedesmith
Be tough for the women.
15:42 February 10, 2011 by HYBRED
When this guy hired on he signed a paper stating he would abide by company rules and regulations. And not following them makes him subject to termination. UPS's policy on beards has been long standing. The guy is just a whiner. He should just take it like a man and either shave or find another job.
15:53 February 10, 2011 by UScitizen
@engagebrain

It's not about Muslims but it's also not about about personnel freedom and companies controlling employee's lives. It's about companies having the right to dictate company policy to their employees and expect it to be followed.

If UPS had singled out this Muslim while allowing Christians to go bearded, it would be another story, but that didn't happen. The guy is just a bum wanting something without having to work for it.
15:59 February 10, 2011 by svenne101
why only muslims are getting problems in the work??? i never saw a buddist ,christian, hindu, sikh complaining to DO.

does anybody know, please let me know if any non muslims complained to DO because of their religion.
16:04 February 10, 2011 by UScitizen
@ svenne101

"i never saw a buddist ,christian, hindu, sikh complaining to DO."

That's because they're not complainers, NOT becaues they aren't treated the same.

Yes, there are Swedish companies here that treat immigrants badly becaues they're immigrants, not because of their religion. But a big international company like UPS doesn't do that.
16:14 February 10, 2011 by Rick Methven
If a Sikh was told to remove his Turban there would be a big complaint.

In the winter I grow a beard as it provides a bit of protection from cold winds. As long as a beard is trimmed and smart there is no reason to remove it. Just some stupid American Company showing a prejudice against beards.

The BBC had a no beards rule for news readers about 50 years ago. They also had to wear a morning suit and a bow tie.

UPS is still in that era. They are the worst courier company in the world. I hope that they get sued over and over again until they go bust
16:16 February 10, 2011 by svenne101
swedes treat immigrant employees far better than the bosses in their home country. he should be happy that he find the job.

of course he had a choice to choose between job and religion, which is important , job or beard(religion).

now a days swedish universities and schools bend to the obligation to suspend classes on friday and build prayer room to muslims.
16:17 February 10, 2011 by UScitizen
Rick Methvan has spoken! We can all move on now, after those great words of wisdom.
16:21 February 10, 2011 by me_i_sverige
This is outrageous!!! A rule is a rule and anyone wants to do job in that company must follow that rule (provided it is humane and it is humane in this case). What happens if a Sikh comes forward saying he needs to put his turban and carry a sword (traditionally they do as a Sikh) at work? Should he be allowed? if not, shall he sue and win lots of money?

Constitution is also a rule (state's rule). what if Muslims(for example) sued claiming they are muslims and want to practice Sharia law not the law provided by Swedish constituency?

It would be irony if this guy walks out with 200,000SEK from court. This would set a bad example.
16:25 February 10, 2011 by philster61
If you wanna work for a company, you abide by the rules. If you don't like the rules, then don't work for the company. Religion has no place in the workplace....
16:26 February 10, 2011 by svenne101
customers are very important to any company. companies have a right to dictate uniform code.

i am wondering what kind of jobs are suitable for muslims in sweden?

does anybody have some idea.
16:29 February 10, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Shaving is unnatural, just ask a German woman's armpits.
16:30 February 10, 2011 by Kaethar
He's going to loose this case. Companies are allowed to have dress codes as long as they do not clash with any laws. In this case freedom of religion. But as stated in the article not shaving your beard isn't a part of mainstream Islam. Most Muslims have no problem with shaving. I could argue female circumcision is a part of my religion as well but that wouldn't hold in courts either.

So sorry beard-man. Guess yoú'll have to find a job better suited for you. :/
16:39 February 10, 2011 by joe5451
I find it interesting that so many on this forum are prepared to accept that if a company makes a rule then you should follow it - with no regard as to whether that rule is legal or not. A company can not make arbitrary demands on an employee simply because they feel like or it has been company policy for years.

Can you imagine the outrage that would occur if a company told female employees they had to wear make-up as per company policy?
16:42 February 10, 2011 by Jack Mehoff
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:49 February 10, 2011 by svenne101
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:50 February 10, 2011 by millionmileman
At least UPS drivers are not being forced to wear their Brown Shorts, in this week's weather!
16:53 February 10, 2011 by svenne101
@Rick Methven

i am wondering what kind of job you are doing in sweden.

there is a better place for you.

go to somalia or border of pakistan and afghanistan and read quran.
16:56 February 10, 2011 by Maler1971
Police must wear short clean cut hair , no facial hair.

It is POLICY . UPS has this policy to make everyone look tidy and alike.

Dont want to shave it? Find a job elsewhere !

These muslims hide behind religion in an attempt to get their way.
17:03 February 10, 2011 by calebian22
Religion is a choice. Why should UPS change it's dress code to accommodate this guy's choice? This guy wants it both ways. Shocker!
17:49 February 10, 2011 by truthworthy
Does UPS employ any Sikhs? do they shave their hair, remove their turban?

Whether he wins the lawsuit or not, I applaud this guy for standing to his religious values compared to some kronors he will earn in this world.
18:06 February 10, 2011 by Antonito
Two issues:

a)This is for Max hamburguer:

I don't want to have any bearded guy (whatever his religion) preparing/delivering my hamburguers!!

b) I have never seen Swedish soldiers with long hair. Does somebody tells them to have it short or they take the option by themselves? If the first case, they can make more than 192,000 Kronor easily.
18:09 February 10, 2011 by loudasthunder
Great discussion forum : )

The Low-Life Scammer has no rights here, regardless of their religion, UPS has strict hiring policies on that matter.

The case will be thrown out. He won't see 1 :-
18:49 February 10, 2011 by G_man469
i think this is not fair coz why ups want to compelling to him to shave his beard

this is kind of muslim symbol's this is religion
20:12 February 10, 2011 by Ravioli
@Rick Meth-

Once again you let your hatred of the West (especially North America) and your love for Islam cloud your better judgement. How many Sikhs have sued for discrimination here in Sweden? With Muslims, it's a weekly occurrance.

A company has the right to have dress codes and appearance codes as well. It hurts the company image when one of their drivers shows up looking like a homeless person at the client's door. It's time that Sweden stood up and sent a strong message to frivilous lawsuits such as this.
20:51 February 10, 2011 by blursd
While companies don't have a right to dictate how you live you personal life whilst not representing them in an official capacity companies DO have a right to control their image (and that of their employees during normal working hours).

UPS has a rather well established and non discriminatory policy of not allowing their workers who interface with the public to have beards -- UPS wants their workers to provide a professional, neat, and clean shaven appearance. It would different if say UPS allowed other to have beards, but only enforced a no beard policy arbitrarily on this man because he was a Muslim. That's about the only situation where I can see this guy having any sort of case.

If an employer tells you when you apply for a job that you have to present yourself "this way" and then lists the criteria you have a simple choice -- either agree or disagree to the conditions. When I worked for UPS I was not allowed to grow a beard. I was also not allowed to wear flip flops, non uniform clothing, openly visible or excessive jewelry (even of a religious nature), or anything of that type of nature. If having a beard is as important to this man as he claims it is then you find an employer that will allow to have a beard. It's that simple ...

It has nothing to do with discriminating against religion ... on the contrary I think most employers tend to foster a dress code that is religion neutral in respect to their potential clientele. If I worked for Disney I couldn't have a giant tattoo of Jesus on the cross visible on my arm ... they would require me to cover it up while on the clock. I also couldn't wear a yarmulke if I were employed as a police officer -- even though I might consider it a part of my religious conviction.
20:51 February 10, 2011 by Querist
.

I gotta side with the worker (who happens to be muslim) here. A company should be expected to 'reasonably accommodate' its workers religious leanings.

There. I said it.

.
20:54 February 10, 2011 by svenne101
we can see the news in the coming days that UPS transport vehicles or offices were attacked with stones.

it is the way of muslim brotherhood that works or compells other people not to go against islamic doctrine.
20:55 February 10, 2011 by Mike #1986
thats why Muslims don't fit in our society they have to shout discrimination for every thing its bloody shocking ..if i was interviewing a muslim he would not have a chance in years to ever be hired.

H e would only cause you head aches with all the demands regarding his religion your better off hiring a Swede.

and thats probably why there so much unemployment among Muslim arabs..

they can't do this they can't do that.. i can't shave my beard because of my religion what a sad person .... i would'nt even waste a second of my time with such morons.
21:37 February 10, 2011 by DAVID T
UPS is a worldwide company - I wonder what the dress code is in Arabland
21:49 February 10, 2011 by Uncle
joe5451

"Can you imagine the outrage that would occur if a company told female employees they had to wear make-up as per company policy?"

Airlines define it in a contract for female flight attendants. And? Companies also decide whether you should wash yourself once in a while. They could also decide what you wear, what apparel you are allowed to have in the wholes on your face and what tattoos are acceptable on your forehead. Why is beard different?
22:16 February 10, 2011 by Swedesmith
You don't see Hooters hiring people with beards, do you?
22:53 February 10, 2011 by escalation666
Does UPS operate in Muslim countries, and are the rules the same.

No matter what business you are in, it is all about image.

They have every right to set a policy as to how they wish to portray their delivery men/woman.

Granted he should have been reminded on day one of training that there is a no facial hair policy in effect and

not wait until the day he is about to begin his journey as a UPS delivery man.

Certainly it does not matter if a person delivers my packages with or without a beard, but once again image is the key

and I personally prefer the image UPS is trying to aquire for their company world wide.
22:56 February 10, 2011 by wxman
No one said anything during his training period because he was not yet an employee, he was in "training" to be an employee. Once he successfully completed the training, he was told to shave. No one made him shave, he could simply leave if he didn't want to comply. Further, his saying that he wears a beard out of religious necessity is pure unadulterated BS. There is no law in Islam requiring men to wear a beard.
23:37 February 10, 2011 by Maler1971
Querist- Its called Give an inch ; take a mile. Make one accomodation and BAM! This opens up a whole new can of worms.

It's problems. The empoyer wants to convey a message in the delivery persons appearance. Clean, tidy, alike. They have every right to enforce this policy!

If they accomodate him - whats to stop anyone from having long beards or long hair. If his religion is more important than his job, quit. Or move back to a culture that accepts it.
23:48 February 10, 2011 by Keith #5083
#escalation666

Generally I agree with you, though I personally prefer clean shaven. However, the report does state"... the man was informed that UPS had a uniform policy under which drivers were not allowed to have beards...". He did not immediately withdraw from the training and it would not be unreasonable to assume that UPS trainers permitted this in anticipation that he had been informed and would remove his beard upon finishing his training.

In other words, the company tried to accommodate his need up to the point of his completion of training.

Lucky he wasn't from the Bonda Poraja tribe/religion of Orissa, they go around naked - even in the main towns! But I guess UPS don't recruit them either.

I suppose I could claim discrimination as I once went to a golf club with my archery equipment and was thrown out.....!?!
23:54 February 10, 2011 by antimultikulti
As a prominent follower of Spaghetti Monster (and there are different interpretations of this cult) I absolutely must take a nap four times a day, between 9:30 and 17:30. But my employer does not share this view. I feel myself disadvantaged and oppressed.

150,000 kronor plus interest, you said?
00:32 February 11, 2011 by kingdans
Why the hell do we allow this bullcrap? Why do muslims keep asking for special treatment? If you don't like the practices and customs of the Western country you're in, get the hell out and go somewhere else.

And it's not just muslims. If you're asking for special treatment, you are a jerk and deserve nothing.
01:45 February 11, 2011 by Boyfriend
As a Muslim I do respect the rules and law of UPS, But Any company who move to Sweden, then they MUST follow the Country's LAW , Sweden is country which it does not allow the companies to discriminate the employee based on their religion or looks.

Anyway I plan to open a Multi Billions company and would ask the white guys to grow a beard and ask the bloodies to wear Burqa :)

Note: Both law are not mentioned in the Holy Quran to grow a beard or wear Burqa. But this is Sunna , Jesus peace be upon him had also beard and UPS would not hire him :)
03:24 February 11, 2011 by jbat
"Yes they can invent the rules. If you don't like the rules, don't work there. by Swedes the fake Smith"

What a silly opinion this man have... so.. this UPS company can invent their own rule.. fine.. then the Swedish also can invent their own rule on how company doing business here should behave.. and if UPS don´t like it.. don´t do business here!
04:19 February 11, 2011 by blursd
@ Boyfriend

I don't understand what Jesus having beard has to do with anything? It's a complete non sequitur ... That's like arguing one should be able to deliver packaged naked, because dogs don't naturally wear clothes.

To determine religious discrimination in this man's case one would have to establish that he was being targeted specifically because he is a Muslim, that the rules were being arbitrarily being applied towards him (and not to others), and that he was never made aware of the conditions of his employment.

Firstly, the beard requirements at UPS are uniformly applied to all persons regardless of religious affiliation -- it is a condition of permanent employment all employee must agree to. If you choose not to abide by the dress and grooming standards then you will not be employed in a capacity that interacts with the public. Moreover, the is no indication whatsoever that persons of other religions or in other situations are allowed to work for UPS with beards. Therefore, there is no religious discrimination ... they are not discriminating against Islam (even this man avows that it is not a universal dogma), but are directing their conditions upon a grooming standard.

He has a simple choice ... conform or find employment elsewhere. It's not really an existential dilemma.

Employers are most definitely allowed to set conditions of employment on grooming and appearance standards -- it has nothing to do with religious discrimination. Suggesting otherwise it patently contrary to common sense. Where does it end?
07:03 February 11, 2011 by Ravioli
From the comments on this thread one thing is apparent: Muslims aren't much for following rules or regulations. Of course, that's apparent in the prisons as well.
08:02 February 11, 2011 by calebian22
Boyfriend,

Jesus already had a job. Being the Son of God and the Messiah took up too much of his time to be a post-delivery, donkey driver.
08:50 February 11, 2011 by ChrisPDX
Tough case.

UPS could compromise, by allowing their employees the option to wear neatly trimmed beards in Sweden!

BTW, have any of the posters on here actually lived in Sweden? hehehe Seems the Swedish spirit is lost a little in these opinion sections. hehehe
08:53 February 11, 2011 by mfh4
I think that if they can produce other Muslim employees that don't have beards then they will win their case, but if they can´t produce other Muslim employees then a good lawyer could easily argue that the no beard rule was designed to discriminate against the peace loving religion ;-)
09:08 February 11, 2011 by wolverine2k
For one thing.. I will not accept any parcel from a bearded guy or burqa clad lady..
10:47 February 11, 2011 by Commoner
Just another excuse for not working and making some money. How are other clean shaving moslems working? Does that implies that they have no faith.

@Boyfriend: What you are talking is totally absurd. Just another loose talker.
11:05 February 11, 2011 by alisonashley
UPS is known for having strict uniform guidelines which including personal appearance. A woman, who works at UPS in Daytona Beach, Florida, had hair down to her waist, was forced to cut her hair or lose her job. She always had her hair up in a bun but that was not good enough for UPS; said it was sloppy. It is not about religion or gender with UPS - it is about their policies concerning appearance. Like all companies UPS has lawful right to enforce rules.
11:43 February 11, 2011 by Takai
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was about time such famous company to began again the discussion about how much a company can control someone´s appearance using the uniform code.

I think the most famous case - in about 50 years - dealt with flight attendants. Not only they were forced to keep in shape and obey a weight code - now, partly explained that this is due to safety - but in old times they were also supposed to look beautiful, excluding women judged "in bad appearance".

There was also no such "weight-height" back then, nowadays at least that is considered.

Imagine if the uniform code of the past had still be in use:

http://www.femininityinflight.com/book.html

It does not justify to say that a uniform code is right just because is in the company for a long time. A good and successful company must, first of all, being able to adjust their rules - without damaging itself - in this globalized world, even if some citizens wished the old patterns were obeyed.

We should all think about that when complaining the market searches for "in shape" employees, when someone is fired for having a child - both women and male´s case or when you shave your hair to support a relative that is suffering from cancer:

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/929155--waitress-fired-after-cancer-head-shave

Thank you. No trolls, no prejudice. Open to knowledge and open minded discussions.
12:42 February 11, 2011 by Nilspet
@Swedesmith

What if Sweden bans use of the English language between 8-24 .. would you comply or would you not live here?
13:34 February 11, 2011 by Keith #5083
#boyfriend

I think the basic premise of the religion is that Jesus has more effective and efficient ways of delivering your needs than UPS, as good as they are.

>

"The rule has no legitimate purpose and is not appropriate and necessary," stated the Ombudsman. It is to be hoped we here in Sweden do not apply that philosophy to every rule we encounter.

"No one asked if he was prepared to shave his beard". Well, they wouldn't need to would they, since the man had been told about the uniform policy and continued thereafter with his training thereby accepting the conditions of his training/employment. His actions implied consent to the rule of which he had been informed!! He took no action when he was informed during training. Had he, at that stage,protested his 'religious views', I would be more inclined to support his argument.That he did not do so was, in action not simply words, his consent to the uniform rule.

That no-one commented to him about shaving his beard during training (after he was informed of the uniform code) is a sign of their tolerance, not the opposite!

Now they are being 'sued' for being tolerant!

catch22!!!
13:41 February 11, 2011 by Rick Methven
UPS has 14 offices in Saudi Arabia.

I bet they do not force a no beard policy there
14:11 February 11, 2011 by Keith #5083
#Rick Methven

Right on, Rick! Problem solved. They can offer the guy a job in Saudi.
14:25 February 11, 2011 by Rick Methven
@Kieth508

It just shows the Hypocrisy in way they behave. some posters have claimed that they have a worldwide no beards policy, which is just false.

I have a friend - British White Christian- who has never shaved, because he had a bad bout of chicken pox as a young teenager which left his face cratered and far too sensitive to shave.

If it was such a person who was treated in this manner, I bet all you good honest posters who are so in favour of UPS would have another point of view.

Your the bias in your posts just show you up for the racist SOB's you really are
14:26 February 11, 2011 by rocklandpirate
It is policy. This guy knew it up front and thought he could get away with it since"his beard wasn't long". It is the same as when you rent an apartment and they have a smoking or no pets policy- when you accept and sign the paperwork ,you are essentially saying that you agree to their rules. What a bunch of bull that this guy will get some compensation.....
14:30 February 11, 2011 by Chris Doherty
I would love to see UPS pull the beard issue off in Ireland.

In Ireland the constitution recognised the Established Churches

In 1949 that was The Roman Catholic, The Church of Ireland and the Jewish'

In the Bible, Old and New Testaments, we (men) are instructed NOT to shave our beards.

If a guy were to be forced to shave his beard, and claim he wore it because of religious beliefs, surely the employer would be infringing on an individual's constitutional rights.

Also in Ireland, an employer has to pay for a uniform, (it cannot be deducted from an employees salary). So if being clean shaven is part of the uniform, then the employer could be held liable for the cost of shaving, and shaving would have to take place in the work place.

Think of the cost. I am just waiting for someone to bring that to the courts.

What is all the fuss about beards. Go to any court and 99% of the criminals are clean shaven. Being bearded does not make you any less trustworthy.
17:03 February 11, 2011 by Swedesmith
@Nilspet If that was the condition for living in Sweden then I would have to abide. I certainly would learn to speak Swedish much faster.

BTW I have nothing against beards. My granny has one and it is quite fetching.
17:06 February 11, 2011 by MichaelZWilliamson
I've seen companies that actually require employees to wear clothes, and show up for work. They can't just make rules like that.
17:22 February 11, 2011 by leciat
But of course we all know that freedom of religion means that the religious have rights and privileges the rest of society is not allowed.....i do not have to obey your rules like everyone else because i have god on my side
18:42 February 11, 2011 by Ravioli
+Your the bias in your posts just show you up for the racist SOB's you really are+

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The Local's biggest racist calling others bigots. LOL. As much as you hate Western culture how can you still say that a company doesn't have the right to have appearance and dress standards? Perhaps you don't understand business but there's a little thing called "image" which ultimately has a direct impact on a company's bottom line. By your clouded logic an employee would be allowed to come to work naked and claim religious reason. It's absurd and an abuse. Either follow the company standard or find another job. And since when is Islam a race? Also, about your friend...I'm guessing that you would side against him because he is white and from the West. Stop letting your racism cloud your rational thought, Ricky.
18:48 February 11, 2011 by imnokuffar
.If you sign a contract that specifies that you cannot have a beard then you are expected to abide by the terms of that contract. Is this unreasonable ? This guy was specifically told he could not have a beard but turned up with one anyway because of his religion.

Utter bullshit, if you don't like the rules or cannot abide by them then get out ! What this Muslim guy was saying is "rules exist for everyone else but me". He deliberately set out to create a confrontation and to claim victim status. I know because this happens all the time in the UK and France.

Similarly if you immigrate to someone elses country you are expected to abide by the rules of that country and not ask for special favours because of your background. I live in France and am English I do not ask for anything from the state and abide by the rules, pay my taxes and respect the customs of the people who have been kind enough to accept me here.

Perhaps if this Muslim chappie does not like living in your country he should absent himself from it.
19:16 February 11, 2011 by Keith #5083
#Rick Methven

Racism has nothing to do with religion! Nobody here is talking about the colour of his skin - or beard for that matter.

I stand by my posts - the man was told during his recruitment it was at that point that he had the right to claim 'religious discrimination' if he had the right at all. To have accepted the working rule condition and continued with his training was a statement, in fact and in deed, that he accepted such working conditions.

UPS - or any other company - had the right to be informed before they wasted money on training. Indeed, I believe there is a reasonable counter-claim which should be made by UPS for the training costs incurred for a 'prospective employee' who refused to accept the working conditions which had earlier been stated to him - and which he had,HAD,accepted..

It has nothing to do with race, religion or even beards!!! It has to do with acceptance or otherwise of a contract.
19:38 February 11, 2011 by maakm
As he was stated that according to the rules every one should be shaved and he didn't spoke during the training thinking that he will get away. I think the guy is on the wrong side. He should made it clear during the training or should have left the job. If that would happen, this problem would have never risen.

But on the other hand, he should be granted the permission for the beard. As to me it does not matter if the parcel is delivered by Muslim, Christian or Jew with a beard, as long as parcel is delivered safely.
19:57 February 11, 2011 by technoviking
This man entered a contract to provide services according to company policy. If he doesn't like the policies, which have been enforced evenly regardless of religion for years, he can leave the contract and end his employment.

He isn't stuck with this job if he doesn't like the working conditions just as UPS isn't stuck with him if he won't provide services as asked.

If he thinks this is "helping" Muslims in the workplace, on the contrary, he's making sure employers don't hire Muslims in the first place so they don't have to deal with this crap. Good work, fella.
20:16 February 11, 2011 by loudasthunder
I used to work for UPS, they have this policy in effect.

I'm quite sure this policy is ammended in middle-eastern countries, due to the fact of the majority of that religion. However, Sweden is not a middle-eastern country, therefore, majority rules and the UPS standard gooming policy stays in effect.

Another way to look at this from the customers point of view...

You see all the recent events unfolding in recent news, religious person with beards carrying a med sized box dressed in popular delivery uniform. This is a perfect delivery method, I saw this in a movie, and it could turn into reality some day here in Sweden as in most recently, Stockholm.

Your a customer expecting packages, as most business in large populated cities do an a daily basis. A middle-eastern looking man in a beard comes into the building with a box. Most people that are willing to be honest, would agree that this would make them a little nervous and on guard.

I remember a few months after 911, I was waitng to board a plane, and in the waiting area was a middle-eastern man reading from a small book, chanting something in a/r/a/b/i/c. You bet I was Nervous. I felt more at ease when i noticed He didn't board My plane.
20:41 February 11, 2011 by Swedesmith
Some people on this forum seem to view a company as some sort of benevolent organization whose sole purpose is to spread joy and goodwill through the world and, of course, distribute paychecks.

I, on the other hand, know that a company is an organization whose purpose is to generate a profit. As such, they can hire the people and establish the rules that they feel may best help them achieve said goal.

Religion has nothing to do with it. Seriously, what if I was a Rastafarian and wanted to smoke ganga all day while driving about town high as a kite?

If you want to grow a beard, grow it. Just don't work for UPS.
22:15 February 11, 2011 by Keith #5083
#Swedesmith

Right on. Or in other words, don't attempt to work for any company whose conditions of employment - having been clearly stated to you - require you to be - or do - something you do not wish.

And guess what folks. You think UPS shareholders pay the bill for the ombusdman's pleasure (assuming he wins the case, which is highly questionable) ? No.WE pay. All the customers of UPS pay.All the folks who buy goods from a shop which were delivered by UPS, pay.

Why don't we all just chip in and buy the guy some razor blades so he can shave?

Oh, I forgot - even though he had just stubble growth (his beard growth was very minimal we are told), he now has religious objections to shaving. Objections that did not manifest themselves during his training period. So what is he, 17 years old? Maybe he shouldn't be driving a delivery truck anyway.
23:43 February 11, 2011 by dan_sparrow
people, this is perfect lets try to get job sportin bear at ups, everybody can get a piece of the cake!
01:51 February 12, 2011 by reader in USA
As a former UPS employee, I would say, "Just another Muslin looking to play by his own rules."
13:14 February 12, 2011 by nolikegohome
Perhaps it was in the 70's or the 80's cant remember. A swedish youth refused to get his long hair cut during his stint in the army. there was a huge hue and cry about it. Finally the youth won and could keep his hair long and serve in the army. That was the day i decided to choose Sweden as a country i would live in. I have been here ever since. The rest is history.
17:25 February 12, 2011 by zoroastrina
Swedesmith: Yes they can invent the rules. If you don't like the rules, don't work there.

US Citizen: "Any company has the right to apply and enforce a uniform dress code, which can include restrictions about personal grooming. This is just another person who thinks he can get a free ride (and probably will!) from the so called Swedish "justice" system." I, too, am a U.S. citizen and somewhat anti-American.

Nemesis writes as a bullshit artist: "UPS has always had a policy of no chin hair since its inception. Any employee will know that. It is in there work guidelines. In Ireland it is in there application for a job guidelines ('Their' and 'there' are two differnet words.)" Nemesis commonly refers to an archenemy, from the Greek goddess Nemesis. Νέμεσις was the Greek goddess of retributive justice. The Greeks personified vengeful fate as a remorseless goddess; the goddess of revenge. The Romans equated the Greek Nemesis with Invidia. Invidia refers to the sense of envy or jealousy, to looking at in a hostile manner and is associated with the evil eye." The extreme conformists among those commenting on this article would be at home in a dystopia like 1984 or "Brave New World".

Hybred (perhaps he can't spell 'hybrid'): "The guy is just a whiner. He should just take it like a man and either shave or find another job." Is Hybred a bit creepy? Ravioli's views are wacky.
20:35 February 12, 2011 by mojofat
Well, burqa's in classrooms for sure...maybe we can get people with hair down to their waste and 15cm long fingernails to handle our food as well.
20:34 February 13, 2011 by wenddiver
It sounds to me like UPS is being sued for being tolerant/stupid enough to hire somebody from a death cult. They only asked that hebe a good worker and comply with their companies long standing male grooming standards, so as not to tarnish the companies professional image.

That'll teach 'em. Next Muslim won't even be considered for employment.
08:42 February 14, 2011 by loudasthunder
These 'people', and I use the word lightly, seem to think they can make demands wherever and whenever they see fit.

Those days will be coming to a grinding halt, as the world is, now more than ever, getting wise to their game.
18:45 February 14, 2011 by Stephen Rohaty
Obviously, since he demands "interest", forbidden to mohammedans, he is, at best, a very poor moslem who does not abide by the tenets of his claimed religion.
21:31 February 16, 2011 by mkvgtired
@ Rick,

You claim UPS is just some "stupid American company showing prejudice against beards".

Would you say that the Swedish police are just some stupid Swedish organization showing the same prejudice, or how about the Swedish army?

I'm guessing you would be very supportive of a lawsuit against Playboy by a women that was not allowed to be a center-fold model in her niquab. But then again who could blame you, it is some stupid American company showing its prejudices.
16:41 February 17, 2011 by Bliezzaning_Moltz
the lefties defending this guy are amazing, thanks for laughs. they always use the same stupid line of defense. as soon as someone starts talking something that would make their leftie unreal world-view collapse, they start shouting racism and xenophobia.

I will spell it out for you again: firstly, there is nothing racist in criticising muslims, simply because race and religious following are two absolutely different things. secondly, a person doesn't choose his race (or sex, or height etc) he belongs to. he does, however, choose his religion. he can always change it, water it down or stop believing in god altogether. even if religion prescribes death for apostasy (hint hint).

muslim culture needs to be discussed, criticised, ridiculed and opposed if necessary, as it is the main source of problem with their integration, over-representation in crime statistics, terrorism etc. religious views and ethnic practices should not be protected from scrutiny. read Nicolai Sennels for a good psychological analysis of the muslim "victim mentality".

and finally, rules of a private company are still rules. if you don't like it, don't get employed there. everyone except muslims and lefties understands that. perhaps because they live in a real world, not some imaginary concept.
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