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The changing face of the ADA: Complying with the new amendments

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources

by Abigail Crouse, Esq., Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis

On Jan. 1, 2009, the newly enacted ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) will go into effect. The law clarifies the ADA definition of disability and overturns certain U.S. Supreme Court decisions and EEOC regulations that narrowly interpreted the ADA.

More employees are likely to qualify for reasonable accommodations and protection from discrimination under the new law. But it also provides employers with some much-needed clarity about which employees are entitled to ADA protection.

New definitions

The most significant change made by the ADAAA is its clarification of the definition of “disability.” The ADA defines it as: “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual.”

The ADAAA clarifies that “major life activities” include:

caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, s...(register to read more)

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