UPS, also known as United Parcel Service is a delivery service that serves various private and public consumers with the document, freight, and package deliveries. The company operates throughout the world and is one of the best-known delivery companies in the world today. The reputation of UPS is generally considered to be solid, however, numerous lawsuits paint a different picture of the company. We researched the history of the company regarding legal issues it’s experienced through the years. What we found was shocking. UPS has been named in dozens of massive lawsuits amounting to the hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, punitive damages, and compensation to the plaintiffs. The company has settled many of the claims out of court, but some have gone all the way, with UPS being found liable for damages to consumers and government agencies. The legal woes have cost the company billions when the tally is made. Here are the ten biggest UPS lawsuits in the history of the company.
10. UPS settles in a Discrimination lawsuit Settlement amount: $4.9 million
The EEOC confirms that UPS discriminated against workers based on their religious beliefs. A class-action lawsuit claimed that the UPS uniform and appearance policies violated the religious beliefs of some workers. Investigators from the EEOC found substantial reason to file a civil lawsuit alleging violations of the Title VII of the Civil rights act of 1964. UPS did not hire or promote people who held religious practices that conflicted with company policies on appearance. The company refused to provide religious accommodations for workers that UPS segregated for wearing long hair or beards, keeping them in a non-supervisory job and keeping the workers out of the customers’ sight at the back of the facilities. UPS was found responsible for violation of the workers’ and candidates for jobs civil rights and had to pay the settlement amount of 4.9 million for religious discrimination.
9. UPS sued in Florida personal injury case Settlement amount: $5 million
A plaintiff sued UPS in the Florida court system for catastrophic injuries he received in an accident with a UPS truck. The 28-year- old was sitting at a stoplight when the incident occurred. A UPS truck made a left turn and crossed into the lane where the plaintiff sat. The UPS truck hit the vehicle head-on causing detrimental injuries to the plaintiff. Upon reaching the local hospital, the plaintiff was diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation, a torn labrum in his left shoulder, and a closed head injury. The brain and neurologic injuries he sustained are permanent and lifelong. The case went to trial. A jury awarded the plaintiff $5,000,000. The award was to compensate for the damages he sustained.
8. UPS sued for racial discrimination Settlement amount: $12.4 million
Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann, and Bernstein report that a lawsuit was filed against UPS for racial discrimination. the Buttram v. UPS Inc lawsuit was filed in 1999, alleging that UPS hired 14,000 African-American workers for part-time hourly wages at its Pacific and Northwest Regions, discriminating against the workers for opportunities for job advancement and promotions. Investigations into the allegations revealed that UPS disproportionately gave people from other ethnic backgrounds a preference for promotions and advancement opportunities. Workers had been denied advancement based on the color of their skin. The class-action lawsuit resulted in the court ordering UPS to pay a settlement of $12.4 million to the workers for compensation, and to cease discriminatory behaviors against people of African-American heritage. Furthermore, UPS is monitored to ensure part-time hourly Black employees have equal opportunities with other workers for promotion to full-time package car driver positions and part-time supervisor jobs.
7. UPS pays Federal customers settlement for violations of civil matters and false claims act violations Settlement amount: $25 million
Justice.gov reports that UPS settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of federal customers regarding civil false claims act violations. A lawsuit was filed against UPs in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that UPS made false claims about delivery services that resulted in civil suits for false claims act violations. The plaintiffs claimed that UPS failed to provide federal customers with accurate information about delivery services. These were services for which Federal customers had the right to claim as a refund for late overnight deliveries. Under UPS’s Guaranteed Service Refunds for late overnight deliveries, the customers had the right to claim these refunds. UPS provided the customers with inaccurate exceptions codes and delivery times to deprive them of what was rightfully theirs. The Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and other legal representatives investigated the claims and found that UPS was liable for making false claims to avoid paying the federal customers the refunds they were entitled to receive. Numerous federal agencies were affected by the deceptive practices and UPS’ knowing recording of inaccurate delivery times on packages to make it look like they met delivery timelines. They also lied with excuses for late deliveries claiming that customers were not in, security delays or businesses were being closed. UPS agreed to settle for a payment of $25 million.
6. UPS sued for inflicting catastrophic injuries on the road in an 18-wheeler incident Settlement amount: $27,700,000
Miller and Zois report a UPS driver at the helm of an 18-wheeler slammed into the vehicle occupied by two men who were traveling together. Both of the men were the victims of catastrophic injuries. The passenger of the vehicle hit underwent surgery on his neck to repair damages. The driver sustained multiple injuries. He required lumbar spine and cervical fusions to repair the injuries to his spine. The driver and his wife filed a claim for loss of consortium. The couple received an award of more than $20 million. The driver sustained the most catastrophic injuries of the two victims. The passenger was awarded the balance of the proceeds in a 2019 settlement for nearly $28 million. The amount received by the passenger was approximately $7 million.
5. Lawsuit filed against UPS for sexual harassment Settlement amount: $80.7 million
Chicago Legalnet confirms that a woman in Polk County had worked for UPS for 22 years. Linda Channon was a long-time employee of the shipping company who alleged that she was sexually harassed by a driver for the company under her supervision in 1993. She and the driver were arguing when he poked her breast. UPS fired the driver for the incident but then rehired him. After the offender returned to UPS, Channon claims that he stalked her. She reported the incidences to her superiors. Instead of offering protection for her, they began to criticize her. After complaining, she was moved to various jobs, excluded from meetings, given different assignments, and shunned by some managers. A jury heard the case and after deliberation, awarded Channon $80.7 million in the case where complaining about sexual harassment resulted in a hostile work environment for the victim. The jury settled on the compensation of $500,000, and $80.2 million in punitive damages. UPS plans to appeal the ruling.
4. UPS sued for personal injuries of two minors Settlement amount: $82 million
UPS was sued in the state of Nevada for injuries inflicted on two minor passengers riding in a car that was struck by a UPS truck. The driver of the UPS truck failed to yield to a stop sign. The impact caused physical injuries to the two children. The mother contacted a lawyer and filed a vicarious liability claim against the company for its failure to properly train the employee to drive the truck. UPS agreed to pay the sum of $82,000 to settle the case. Although it seems like a lot, this is one of the smaller settlements made by the delivery giant.
3. Class-action Lawsuit filed against UPS for Cornn v. United Parcel Service, Inc. re: unpaid overtime, meal, and rest period pay Settlement amount: $87 million
California Law reports that a class-action lawsuit was filed against UPS for failure to pay workers for overtime, meals, and rest periods. An investigation into the allegations uncovered evidence that UPS was guilty of not paying workers for their overtime and other wages earned. Numerous motions were approved for the worker class that showed UPS to violate California’s fair wage laws. the court also imposed other penalties against UPS for the improper recording of information on pay stubs, and other remedies for workers treated unfairly in the payment and compensation process. UPS was ordered to pay $87 million in compensation owed to the workers and penalties and agreed to settle the lawsuit before it went to trial. The company had failed to pay its workers in the driver class fair wages with time allowed for meals and rest periods.
2. UPS sued for tax violations Settlement amount: $246 million reduced to $98 million
The State of New York and New York City filed a lawsuit against United Parcel Service in a civil action over alleged violations of state and federal laws. United Parcel Service knowingly shipped cigarettes classified as contraband. The agencies won the lawsuit with UPS ordered to pay penalties for tax violations for $246 million. UPS appealed the ruling of the court and received relief from the original penalty. The settlement was lowered from $246 million to $98 million. The appeal was approved for the lowered penalty on November 7, 2019, according to Violation Tracker).
1. Lawsuit filed against UPS for Sex discrimination Settlement amount requested: $250 million
A class-action lawsuit was filed against United Parcel Service for allegations of sex discrimination. three female UPS workers from Oakland, California, lodged a legal complaint against their employer in a California Federal Court. The plaintiffs allege that the local UPS hub discriminates against women only giving them dead-end jobs with less pay than males. They’re not allowed advancement opportunities, as these are reserved for male workers. The Oakland UPS hub does not have procedures in its policies for lodging complaints. There were no steps in place for enforcing anti-discrimination policies. The three women claim that their rights have been violated per the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII. They allege that UPS violates the Equal Pay Act on a federal level and violation of California laws regarding anti-discrimination and equal pay. The legal action represents women throughout the nation, working for UPS who was passed over for jobs they were qualified for, and who received unfair treatment compared to the opportunities and the pay afforded men in the organization. Plaintiffs in the case seek $250 million in punitive damages and compensation.
United Parcel Service delivers everything from letters to freight. The company is among the best-known delivery services throughout the world. Like any large organization, UPS has had its share of legal problems. Throughout the company’s history, managers and executives have made errors in judgment, while others have knowingly violated state and federal regulations. The company has been sued for unfair wage compensation, racial discrimination, and knowingly transporting contraband cigarettes, in violation of state and federal tax and financial laws. Many UPS lawsuit settlements involved personal injury cases. Some UPS drivers have caused accidents that have resulted in catastrophic injuries. Most of the lawsuits filed against UPS are for smaller amounts ranging from a few thousand dollars to less than a million, but a few have topped the quarter-million mark. The EEOC and SEC participated in investigations of civil rights violations and misleading potential investors with false sales figures. It’s fair to say United Parcel Service is not a perfect company, but it still does an exceptional job of delivering our parcels and packages.