Effective Jan. 1, 2009, employers with 15 or more employees have a new set of ADA rules to contend with. President Bush signed off on a law significantly amending the ADA in September, greatly changing how employers must handle disabled applicants and employees.
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) expands the ADA in a variety of ways. The legislation was a congressional reaction to several pro-employer decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court over the past decade that restricted the scope of the ADA. Indeed, the ADAAA specifically names the decisions it was intended to overrule.
The overall result of the new law is sweeping: Congress made clear that it wants the ADA to be interpreted more broadly by courts—and applied by employers—than it has been previously.
What is a disability?
The amendments broaden the definition of a “disability.” In general, establishing a disability still requires showing a mental or physical impa...(register to read more)