The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will in today’s Federal Register publish proposed regulations implementing the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA).  The public will have 60 days – or until November 23, 2009 – to submit comments.  Click here to read the full text of the proposed regulations

Congress intended that ADAAA, which took effect January 1, 2009, would broaden the coverage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by expanding the definition of "disability."   The ADAAA also directed the EEOC to enact new regulations consistent with the purpose and goals of the ADAAA.  Key changes now being proposed by the EEOC include: 

  • Redefining the term “substantially limits” to provide that a limitation does not have to “significantly” or “severely” restrict a major life activity to qualify an individual as "disabled."  Under the new definition, an impairment constitutes a disability “if it ‘substantially limits’ the ability of an individual to perform a major life activity as compared to most people in the general population.”
  • Expanding the definition of “major life activities” and providing non-exhaustive lists of such activities and bodily functions.
  • Removing the requirement that an individual seeking ADA coverage prove a " limitation in the ability to perform activities of central importance to daily life” to have a qualifying disability.
  • Redefine “regarded as” disabled so that it is no longer necessary for an employee to prove the employer perceived him or her as substantially limited in a major life activity; rather, under the new rules, it is sufficient for the employee to prove that the employer took an employment action against him or her because of an actual or perceived impairment.

Unhappy with the new regulations?  Have a suggestion to make them better?  Want to express your wrath?  You can do so by clicking on, the U.S. Government’s portal for regulations and comments.  Want to know more about the ADAAA?  You can click here for complete ADAAA coverage on the Stoel Rives World of Employment