UPS drivers claim they were punished for gathering to pray, including some who were fired, and now a religious liberty law firm is demanding answers.
Liberty Counsel has reached out to UPS after learning the prayer gathering at a Myrtle Beach location was reportedly stopped by a supervisor who said it was not allowed.
With a deadline for today, Feb. 19, Liberty Counsel is waiting for a response from UPS after sending a formal letter asking the Atlanta-based corporation to investigate the matter and allow the fired workers to return to their jobs.
In a statement to OneNewsNow, a UPS spokesman said the company “accommodates religious practices” if they do not create an “undue hardship” on the company.
Regarding the letter, the spokesman said the company “just received” the letter and is investigating Liberty Counsel's claims of discrimination.
According to Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, his firm was contacted by now-fired UPS drivers who said they were gathering on their own time, before work, in the mornings.
"It violates federal law,” Staver argues, “that says that employers cannot discriminate against their employees on the basis of religion, and that's exactly what's happening here.”
UPS depends on its fast-working, brown-clad drivers to deliver packages around the world, a job that requires long days and physical stamina, especially in the summer heat.
The group of drivers began praying together last summer and had grown to more 50 than UPS employees when the gathering was told their prayer circle was not permitted because others could feel left out.
The firings over the prayer gathering were shared on social media.
“We're waiting on UPS to respond,” Staver tells OneNewsNow, “and hopefully we get a favorable resolution to this outrageous situation."
UPDATE: Since this story was originally posted, OneNewsNow has received the following statement from the VP of public relations for UPS:
“We have investigated the claims made by Liberty Counsel in their letter to UPS. We believe there is a misunderstanding and we have reached out to them to clarify the situation regarding employees at our site. UPS employees are permitted to assemble before they start work as long as they follow truck yard safety and conduct rules. No employees have been disciplined in connection with assembly to pray prior to their shift. We look forward to clarifying this situation with Liberty Counsel and our employees at the site.”