UPS workers' Calif. class action alleges bias against women

A UPS delivery truck is seen in New York March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
  • Lawsuit says UPS places women in dead-end jobs
  • Men get better pay, more chances to advance, workers claim

(Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc is facing a $250 million proposed class action accusing the package delivery giant of systemic bias against "outwardly feminine" and older female workers.

Three women who work at a UPS hub in Oakland filed a complaint in California federal court on Wednesday claiming female employees are routinely assigned dead-end jobs, leading to lower pay and fewer opportunities for advancement than male coworkers.

Those issues are compounded for women 40 and older, who are given fewer hours and job duties and supervised more closely than younger male employees, the plaintiffs said.

UPS lacks effective procedures for filing complaints or enforcing its anti-discrimination policies, and disparities between men and women are ignored by the company's male-dominated senior management, according to the complaint.

Atlanta-based UPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The named plaintiffs, all in their 40s and 50s, say they have been denied opportunities to take on higher-paying positions, are not afforded the benefits of seniority that are granted to men, and have faced harassment and retaliation for taking medical leave.

The lawsuit accuses UPS of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal Equal Pay Act and comparable California laws.

The plaintiffs are seeking to represent a nationwide class of women employed by UPS since November 2017, and a subclass of women who are older than 40 or have a disability. They are seeking at least $250 million in actual, compensatory and punitive damages.

The case is Goins v. United Parcel Service Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No.

For the plaintiffs: M. Alieu Iscandari of Iscandari Law Group; Tiega-Noel Varlack of Varlack Legal Services

For UPS: Not available

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Dan Wiessner (@danwiessner) reports on labor and employment and immigration law, including litigation and policy making. He can be reached at daniel.wiessner@thomsonreuters.com.