SHRM Submits Comments on ADA Amendments Act
Alexandria, Va. - On Monday, November 23, 2009, SHRM submitted comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on their proposed rule to implement the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, urging the EEOC to revise the rule to more accurately reflect the statutory language.
While the ADA has had a strong record of protecting rights of individuals with disabilities in the workplace for nearly 20 years, several Supreme Court decisions interpreting the ADA narrowed the scope of the law’s protections and many groups have worked to restore the Act to its original intent. SHRM worked with employer and disability groups to develop a compromise bill among all stakeholders. This negotiated compromise resulted in the final ADA Amendments Act of 2008 which enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The EEOC’s proposed regulations, however, in many instances exceeded the parameters outlined by this carefully crafted statute.
SHRM’s comments focused on those areas that were the subject of extensive negotiation during the legislative process and made specific recommendations for changes to the proposed rule. These recommendations include replacing the concepts of “Condition, Duration, and Manner” in assessing whether an impairment “substantially limits” a major life activity; reinstituting the individualized assessment required by the ADA by removing a section of the proposed regulation that appears to create a list of conditions that will always be considered disabilities; and clarifying the definition of the major life activity of working.
SHRM comments are posted on our website and can be read by clicking HERE.