New ADA regulations will change the legal landscape
On September 23, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published its proposed new regulations for administering the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was amended effective January 1st. According to experts, the new regulations will "significantly lower the standard for an employee to establish that he or she has a covered disability." The amendment is expected to move the interaction under the ADA from a fight over whether an employee is qualified for consideration under the act to a fight over the employer's duty to make reasonble accommodations. From the amendment forward, the employee's proofs will primarily be directed to whether the "diability" limits an employee's ability to work or is perceived to perform his or her job. The new regulations will also take into account "mitigating measures" such as medication, eyeglasses, hearing aids and other measures which formerly precluded an employee from qualifying as "disabled" and eliminated any duty of accommodation.
The regulations are published on the EEOC website: www.eeoc.gov.