The ADA Amendments Act ("ADAAA") was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier today. For more information, read the House’s Press Release. As reported previously by the Stoel Rives World of Employment, the same version of the bill was recently approved by the U.S. Senate.
The next stop for the ADAAA is the White House. President Bush previously indicated he has some misgivings about the ADAAA, but given the broad bipartisan support that carried the bill through Congress, he is expected to sign it into law. (Keep in mind, it was George H.W. Bush that signed the original ADA.)
Assuming it becomes law, the ADAAA will greatly broaden the scope of the ADA. Some highlights of the ADAAA:
- Reverses several Supreme Court decisions that have seemingly narrowed the coverage of the ADA, restoring what the drafters perceive to be the original Congressional intent
- Broadens the definition of disability, including what it means to be “substantially limited in a major life activity
- Clarifies that accommodations are not be required if an individual is merely "regarded as” having a disability
- Prohibits the consideration of mitigating measures such as medication, prosthetics, and assistive technology, in determining whether an individual has a disability
- Provides coverage to people who experience discrimination based on a perception of impairment regardless of whether the individual experiences disability
The Stoel Rives World of Employment will let you know as soon as we receive word on what the White House intends to do. Stay tuned!