Rowlands v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 17-3281 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Rowlands worked at the UPS for 25 years before she was fired in 2012, for changing her time card. Rowlands filed an EEOC Charge and a union grievance. She was reinstated. Rowlands had suffered several injuries, starting in 2005 when she was hit by a semi-truck and needed a hip replacement. Immediately before her firing, Rowlands suffered three knee injuries, one at work, and required surgery. Rowlands returned to work but her employee ID was never reactivated and UPS allegedly established new rules that applied only to Rowlands. Rowlands claims that she requested accommodations for her knee injuries, which were not granted. In January 2013 Rowlands was fired for violating UPS’ “zero tolerance” Violence Prevention Policy by brandishing a taser before she walked to the distant, dimly-lit parking lot. Rowlands’ coworkers corroborated that for 10 years she had carried the taser as personal protection. Rowlands’ car had been broken into twice. According to her co-workers, other employees carried similar devices on a regular basis, believing that the Policy prohibited only firearms. The district court rejected her suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 14 U.S.C. 12111 on summary judgment, finding that she did not have a disability, had waived her failure to accommodate claim and failed to establish a prima facie case for retaliation. The Seventh Circuit reversed. There are genuine disputes of material fact on Rowlands’ failure to accommodate and retaliation claims, neither of which were waived.