Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Recent amendments to Americans with Disabilities Act expand protections to many more and redefines the laws relating to disabilities

Recent amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act expands protections to many more workers, and rejects U.S. Supreme Court decisions on what constitutes a "disability" according to an article I received today from a law firm at which I was once a legal assistant.

These amendments had the support of groups advocating for the disabled, the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and others, according to some news articles I located in Factiva. The amendments help reach the original intent of the Act.

Sometimes students come to the reference desk looking for human resources issues. This might be one to suggest as an Oct. 6 issue of Business Insurance quotes an employment law expert as saying, "I thought this was a big deal," said Gerald L. Maatman Jr., a partner in the Chicago-based law firm Seyfarth Shaw L.L.P. "The amendments necessitate that employers will have to go back to the drawing board on job descriptions and protocols to provide reasonable accommodation decisions. The burdens will be significant but well worth the effort in terms of proactive steps to avoid future litigation," he said.

There will probably be much more information about these amendments in publications in the coming months.

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