Disability Law Update: Circuit Court Finds for Employer in ADA Employee Accommodation Case

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are required to engage in an interactive process to “identify the precise limitations resulting from a disability and potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations.” Many lawsuits have been filed by employees alleging their employer failed to accommodate them, and Marathon HR cautions its clients to tread carefully where the ADA is concerned.

However, in Brumley v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 18-5453 (6th Cir. 2018), the Sixth Circuit found that UPS was not at fault, because the worker who sued alleged the violation—who had already received workers compensation and taken a leave of absence—discontinued the “interactive” process after UPS requested medical forms to evaluate her return-to-work restrictions. Brumley had sued UPS for failure to accommodate, in violation of the ADA, based on the time she was off work during the process. Because Brumley voluntarily abandoned the process, the Court found, UPS was not liable for failing to provide reasonable accommodation. It’s an interesting case. You can read the brief, here.