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ADA doesn’t require on-the-spot accommodations

ADA icon1 min read

In Brumley v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) doesn’t require employers to make immediate accommodations of an employees' choosing.

UPS employee Melissa Brumley injured her back while moving heavy packages. After shifting to a light duty position, she took leave and then returned to work with permanent driving and lifting restrictions. Her supervisor initiated the interactive process for workplace accommodation two weeks later, then scheduled a meeting with her the following month. During the meeting, Brumley decided to return to her original job, and UPS closed the interactive process.

Brumley sued, alleging UPS didn’t accommodate her disabilities and sought damages for lost wages and employment benefits for the time she missed. While the ADA requires that employers make reasonable arrangements for employees’ disabilities, the law doesn’t hold them liable if they engage in a process of good faith. In this case, UPS engaged in good faith by keeping Brumley informed throughout the process and offering her alternative accommodations.