Sweden: UPS sued for firing Muslim who refused to shave beard

Sweden: UPS sued for firing Muslim who refused to shave beard

Via the Local (h/t Islamophobia-Watch):
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.