UPS has issued a statement that its drivers are indeed permitted to pray as a group before work, after some drivers claimed they were punished and even fired for gathering to pray.
Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty law firm, 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 because it could make non-praying employees feel left out.
With a deadline for today, Feb. 19, Liberty Counsel is waiting for a response from UPS after sending a formal letter asking to investigate the matter and allow the fired workers to return to their jobs.
In a statement to OneNewsNow, a spokesman for UPS said the Atlanta-based corporation “accommodates religious practices” if they do not create an “undue hardship” on the company.
According to Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, his firm was contacted by now-fired UPS drivers who said they were gathering before work in the mornings, on their own time. UPS delivery work is strenuous, requiring endurance and much attention to safety.
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.
The new statement from UPS reads:
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.