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Federal Regulatory Developments
 

   3/25/2011
 

After months of delay, the final rule implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) appeared in the Federal Register today, March 25.  To review the full text of the final regulations, click HERE

While SHRM is still analyzing the final rule, it appears that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made important improvements to the regulation that address concerns raised by SHRM and other stakeholder groups. In its comments to the EEOC, SHRM highlighted areas where we believe the proposed regulations exceeded the intent of Congress in enacting the ADAAA.  Accordingly, SHRM is pleased that the final rule:

  • Reinstates language to clarify that "disability" remains an individual determination;
  • Reinstates other basic concepts of the ADA, including definition of the major life activity of "working" and use of "condition, manner, and duration" when trying to determine disability;
  • Removes an unnecessary "clarification" prohibiting employers from taking action based on a "symptom" of impairment under the "regarded as" clause of the statute.

Issuance of the final rule, a proposal of which was released in September 2009, was delayed while newly-appointed commissioners reviewed the legislative history of the ADAAA, the proposed regulation, and comments received from the public in response to the proposal. We commend the leadership shown by the commission during a review that resulted in a bipartisan 4-1 approval of the final rule.

To read SHRM’s comments in response to the 2009 proposed rule, click HERE

Webcast: The Impact of the ADA Amendments Act on Employers

For more information on how the final rule will affect workplace policies, procedures and training, SHRM is providing a fee-based webcast at 2 p.m. on March 29. It will feature Robert Duston of the law firm Saul Ewing, and Commissioner Victoria Lipnic of the EEOC. You can register for this webcast by clicking HERE.

 

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