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Faidley v. United Parcel Service of America, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

April 4, 2017

Jerry Lee Faidley Plaintiff- Appellant
United Parcel Service of America, Inc. Defendant-Appellee

          Submitted: December 15, 2016

         Appeal from United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa - Des Moines

          Before KELLY and MURPHY, Circuit Judges, and MONTGOMERY, [1] District Judge.

          MURPHY, Circuit Judge.

         Plaintiff Jerry Faidley worked as a delivery driver for defendant United Parcel Service of America (UPS). His doctor restricted his work activity after he hurt his back, and UPS did not offer him another full time position that he was able to perform. He sued for disability discrimination and retaliation. The district court granted summary judgment to UPS on all claims. Faidley appeals, and we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.


         Jerry Faidley worked for UPS as a package delivery driver. After he injured his back twice and had hip surgery, his doctor restricted his work day to eight hours. When UPS learned of this restriction in 2012, it prohibited him from working as a delivery driver because that position requires employees able to work nine and a half hours per day. His manager also told him that his career at UPS was over because the company would not employ someone with a permanent restriction.

         Faidley went on unpaid leave and sought a disability accommodation. He proposed working either as a delivery driver with a daily limit of eight hours or at a less physically demanding position without accommodations. One of the other jobs UPS considered was feeder driver, which involves driving trailers between UPS locations and is less physically strenuous than the delivery driver role. The company did not offer Faidley this position, however, because it was unavailable at the time. UPS then offered him a part time job that would have reduced his seniority. He declined to accept that position and sued UPS under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA) for a failure to accommodate his disability.

         Several months later, Faidley's doctor issued a new restriction that allowed him to work with no limit on his hours at any job other than delivery driver. In early 2013 Faidley found a new position at UPS as a combined pre loader and loader. In the pre loader role, he loaded packages into delivery trucks. As a loader, he stacked packages in semi trailers. This combined role proved too physically demanding and caused Faidley a great deal of pain. His doctor then limited him to working four hours per day for five weeks as a pre loader rather than a loader. Faidley asked to work a reduced schedule but UPS refused because he had previously used all of his available time in its temporary alternative work program.

         Faidley later received another set of work restrictions. UPS then reinitiated the accommodation process, but no full time positions that fit his restrictions were available. UPS offered him a part time position that he declined. Faidley retired later that year. He then sued UPS a second time under the ICRA for disability discrimination and retaliation arising from its alleged failure to accommodate him in 2013. The district court consolidated the 2012 and 2013 actions and granted summary judgment to UPS. Faidley appeals.


         We review the "grant of summary judgment de novo, viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and making every reasonable inference in his favor." McPherson v. O'Reilly Auto., Inc., 491 F.3d 726, 730 (8th Cir. 2007). Summary judgment is warranted "if the record shows there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Id.; see also Torgerson v. City of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1042-43 (8th Cir. 2011) (en banc).


         We first address Faidley's 2012 disability discrimination claim. We use the same standards to analyze ADA and ICRA discrimination claims. Tjernagel v. Gates Corp., 533 F.3d 666, 671 (8th Cir. 2008). The ADA prohibits private employers from discriminating against qualified individuals based on disability. Kallail v. Alliant Energy Corp. Servs., Inc., 691 F.3d 925, 930 (8th Cir. 2012). Discrimination includes a failure to provide "reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability." Id. (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(5)(A)). To prove disability discrimination, an employee must establish "that he (1) has a disability within the meaning of the ADA, (2) is a qualified individual under the ADA, and (3) suffered an adverse employment action as a result of the disability." Fenney ...

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