Thanks to World of Work Law Blog for Major Changes to ADA Coming. My personal opinion is that the ADA was effectively neutered for plaintiffs (employees) ages ago by the United States Supreme Court. I followed it more closely when I was in-house counsel for this very same reason: employers who ignore the ADA are the ones who plaintiffs sue successfully.
"Here's something to be watching: a bill currently winding its way through Congress is likely to bring significant changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill, knows as the ADA Amendments Act ('ADAAA'), will greatly broaden the scope of the ADA.
Some highlights of the ADAAA:
* Reverses several Supreme Court decisions that have seemingly narrowed the coverage of the ADA, restoring what the drafters perceive to be the original Congressional intent
* Broadens the definition of disability, including what it means to be “substantially limited in a major life activity
* Creates a list of per se 'major life activities'
* Clarifies that accommodations are not be required if an individual is merely 'regarded as” having a disability
* Prohibits the consideration of mitigating measures such as medication, prosthetics, and assistive technology, in determining whether an individual has a disability
Provides coverage to people who experience discrimination based on a perception of impairment regardless of whether the individual experiences disability"
To read an official summary of the ADAAA, click here. To read the full text of the current bill, click here. Stay tuned to the World of Work for updates on this landmark legislation.