Protecting the Americans with Disabilities Act

Jun 18, 2008
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Statement by Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR, President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management

Note to Editors: Following is a statement by SHRM President and CEO Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR, regarding the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The bill, a compromise measure supported by SHRM and other employer and disability advocacy groups, is being considered today by congressional committees.

“As a former government official and long-time human resources leader, one of the proudest accomplishments of my career was my participation in implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Recently, both I and members of the HR profession have been deeply concerned about proposed ‘improvements’ to this vital law.

“Although we agree that the law needs revision, recent legislative proposals for that purpose actually threaten to water down and weaken a bill that has transformed our nation.

“Under those prior proposals, ADA protection would have been expanded to employees with temporary impairments. That would have simply diluted the resources available to employees with disabilities who truly need and deserve accommodations.

“In contrast, the legislation that passed the House committees today is supported by both the employer and disability communities. It focuses protection on those who need it most. It corrects the damage done by court interpretations over the past decade that have weakened ADA coverage for people with diabetes, epilepsy, serious heart conditions, mental disabilities, and even cancer.

“Both the employer and disability communities have been able to unite behind this bill for a reason—it is an effective remedy that is perfect for no one, but fair for everyone. It will put more Americans to work, and protect the people most deserving of that accommodation.”

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About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 245,000 members in over 130 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the U.S. and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM at www.shrm.org.

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