Monday, September 22, 2008

Updted ADA Passes Senate

So reports and it appears President Bush will not veto the law.

Senate Approves Legislation to Expand Workplace Disability Law:

"A bill that would expand workplace protections for disabled Americans gained unanimous Senate approval on Thursday, September 11.

The legislation, which was co-sponsored by 77 senators, sailed through on a voice vote. Both presidential nominees, Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Barack Obama, D-Illinois, came out in support of the bill weeks ago.

The measure clarifies that Congress meant for the Americans with Disabilities Act to be broadly interpreted. The original measure, which became law in the early 1990s, required employers to make accommodations for disabled employees.

The new bill, the ADA Amendments Act, addresses Supreme Court decisions that critics say restricted the law. The court ruled in several cases that mitigating measures—such as medication or prosthesis—make a person ineligible for coverage."


As is the case with any compromise, no one was completely satisfied. The business community accepted a bill that could increase litigation. But the final language was less expansive than that contained in the original bill.

The lack of a specific definition of “substantially limits,” however, could require courts to step in again.

“At the center of the continuum, the question [of who is disabled] is probably straightforward,” said Neil Abramson, a partner at the law firm Proskauer Rose in New York.

“At the margins, it’s more difficult. That will probably generate, at least in the beginning, litigation,” he said.