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ADA Amendments Act means changes for employees, employers

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

BY DENA B. CALO, Esq.

Sweeping new ADA legislation passed earlier this fall will completely change the way employers manage disabled employees.

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) overruled four U.S. Supreme Court decisions defining disabilities under the ADA, thereby broadening the definition of disability in order to end disability discrimination in the workplace.

Broader disability definition

Under the original ADA, an employee was considered disabled if he or she had a physical or mental impairment that substantially limited a major life activity. The terms “major life activity” and “substantially limited” had been narrowly construed, disqualifying many employees from the disability definition.

The amended law significantly expands those definitions in order to bring more disabled individuals under the ADA’s protection. For example, major life activities now include everyday tasks such as sleeping, conce...(register to read more)

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