WiredPRNews.com Dallas, Texas – The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved a bill to expand the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). It is anticipated that this bill will pass the U.S. Senate and be signed into law.
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”) redefines key phrases, broadening the current interpretation of the ADA. Pursuant to the proposed amendments, the ADA would continue to apply to individuals who have disabilities that “substantially limit” major life activities, but the ADAAA redefines that phrase to mean “materially restricts.” The ADAAA also lists examples of major life activities, including: eating, sleeping, communicating, and the operation of a major bodily function, such as brain, circulatory, or reproductive. The bill expands coverage to episodic conditions and conditions in remission, such as cancer, diabetes, and epilepsy, if such conditions would substantially limit a major life activity when active. The ADAAA, if passed, would also prevent employers from considering mitigating measures, such as medication and assistive technology, when determining if an employee is disabled.
If the ADAAA becomes law, employers should expect to receive more requests for accommodation (since more employees would be considered disabled under the ADAAA’s broader definitions) and should realize that more lawsuits will likely advance past the summary judgment phase. Should the ADAAA become law, Dallas employment lawyer Keith Clouse advises employers to update their discrimination policies and to educate managers and human resource executives regarding the changes.
For more information regarding the ADAAA, contact the employment law attorneys at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at firstname.lastname@example.org.