The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) split yesterday over whether to approve a notice of proposed rulemaking on the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). The commissioners voted 2-2 on whether to approve a set of proposed rules that had been drafted by EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel. Under the EEOC’s rules, a tie vote is the same as a "no," meaning the proposed rules will not be presented to the public for comment. (For those of you suspecting political motives, you could be right: the two Republican Commissioners voted in favor of releasing the rules, and the two Democrats voted no.)
What does this mean? The ADAAA will go into effect January 1, 2009 without any interpretive regulations to help us navigate the new law. The ADAAA requires the EEOC to create new regulations, but does not set any deadlines. When the EEOC does make new regulations, it will publish them and allow public comment for 60 days before the regulations may take effect. And if the Commissioners remain deadlocked, it make take an appointment from President-Elect Obama to break the tie.
For more information on the ADAAA, check out the Stoel Rives World of Employment’s ADAAA Archives.