The Oregon Legislature is taking steps to keep Oregon’s disability discrimination laws consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADA).  Last week, Senate Bill 874 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 4-1 vote.  SB 874 will amend existing Oregon disability law to adopt the changes made to the ADA in 2008 through the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA).

SB 874 contains four key changes to make Oregon law consistent with federal law:

  1. prohibiting discrimination against individuals “regarded as” disabled whether or not their perceived impairment is perceived to limit a major life activity;
  2. construing the term "disability" in favor of broad coverage;
  3. considering an impairment that is episodic or in remission to be a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active; and  
  4. determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity without regard to the effects of mitigating measures except ordinary eyeglasses.

Oregon has, with a few exceptions, consistently kept its disability discrimination laws consistent with the ADA.  Because of that, we expect SB 874 (or something very similar) to become law.  The Stoel Rives World of Employment will continue to keep you updated.