The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) will become effective on Jan. 1, 2009. Now is the time to prepare for the impact. The new law effectively broadens the scope of protection offered by the ADA, which Congress found to have been narrowed in recent years by various U.S. Supreme Court decisions and EEOC regulations.
The ADAAA will provide more individuals with protection under the ADA. While the definition of “disability” remains the same—“a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities”—the application of that definition changes under the new law.
It rejects a 1999 Supreme Court decision (Sutton v. United Air Lines) finding that employers had to consider mitigating measures when determining whether an individual is substantially limited in a major life activity, as well as a 2002 decision (Toyota Mfg. Co. of Ky. v. Williams) that took a restrictive view of what constitutes a s...(register to read more)