July 24, 2014

UPS Sued by EEOC for National Origin and Religious Harassment

San Bruno Worker Assaulted by Epithets, Bottles and Rocks, Federal Agency Charges

SAN FRANCISCO - Global shipping company UPS violated federal law when it allowed supervisors and coworkers to discriminate against and harass an employee for being Arab and Muslim, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The suit also alleged UPS illegally retaliated against the worker after he reported the harassment to the company, his union and the EEOC.

Talal Alfaour, who is Jordanian and Muslim, began working at UPS's San Bruno Hub in South San Francisco in 1995 as a loader and revenue worker. Since at least 2004, Alfaour faced discrimination including both verbal and physical harassment. He was derided as "Dr. Bomb," "Al Qaeda," and "Taliban," and a supervisor told Alfaour that he could never work with hazardous materials because "you are a terrorist and you are going to blow up the building." Alfaour was assaulted with rocks, bottles and tools, and a dead mouse was placed in his lunch sack. Although Alfaour repeatedly reported the harassment to management, UPS failed to take effective action, and instead he was involuntarily transferred and subjected to micro-managing scrutiny at his new work station.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits harassment due to national origin and religion, and protects workers who report such discrimination from retaliation. After attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through conciliation with UPS, the EEOC filed this lawsuit (EEOC v. UPS, Inc., Civil No. 12-4723 DMR) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit seeks monetary damages on behalf of Alfaour, training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the work site and other measures to prevent future discrimination.

"Mr. Alfaour faced egregious and intolerable harassment but continues to work at UPS in hopes that the situation would be remedied," said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. "The EEOC has filed suit to defend his right to a work environment free from hostility, intimidation and ridicule."

EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado said, "Punishing an employee who speaks up about discrimination is not only illegal but also poisons the workplace. It sends the message to your staff that an employee complains at his or her own risk, and it can encourage harassers to continue."

Baldonado noted that in fiscal year 2011, retaliation charges (37,334) represented 37.4% of all charges filed with the EEOC - the highest percentage of any claim for that year, and the highest number of retaliation charges ever received by the EEOC in any fiscal year.

According to its website,, UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a "global leader in logistics" with headquarters in Atlanta, serving more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.

© Copyright U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

About the Author

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Most employers with at least 15...


Boost: AJAX core statistics

Legal Disclaimer

You are responsible for reading, understanding and agreeing to the National Law Review's (NLR’s) and the National Law Forum LLC's  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using the National Law Review website. The National Law Review is a free to use, no-log in database of legal and business articles. The content and links on are intended for general information purposes only. Any legal analysis, legislative updates or other content and links should not be construed as legal or professional advice or a substitute for such advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by the transmission of information between you and the National Law Review website or any of the law firms, attorneys or other professionals or organizations who include content on the National Law Review website. If you require legal or professional advice, kindly contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  

Some states have laws and ethical rules regarding solicitation and advertisement practices by attorneys and/or other professionals. The National Law Review is not a law firm nor is  intended to be  a referral service for attorneys and/or other professionals. The NLR does not wish, nor does it intend, to solicit the business of anyone or to refer anyone to an attorney or other professional.  NLR does not answer legal questions nor will we refer you to an attorney or other professional if you request such information from us. 

Under certain state laws the following statements may be required on this website and we have included them in order to be in full compliance with these rules. The choice of a lawyer or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Attorney Advertising Notice: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Statement in compliance with Texas Rules of Professional Conduct. Unless otherwise noted, attorneys are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, nor can NLR attest to the accuracy of any notation of Legal Specialization or other Professional Credentials.

The National Law Review - National Law Forum LLC 4700 Gilbert Ave. Suite 47 #230 Western Springs, IL 60558  Telephone  (708) 357-3317 If you would ike to contact us via email please click here.