Workplace Word-April 2011
EEOC Issues New Disability Regulations
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") has issued regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act ("the Amendments Act"), providing further interpretive guidance for the statutory amendments. One of the central purposes of the Amendments Act is to expand the definition of disability, which Congress criticized as having been too narrowly construed by the Supreme Court. The practical effect of the Amendments Act and interpreting regulations is that more individuals will qualify as disabled and will be entitled to reasonable accommodations at the workplace. Moreover, the broad coverage of the Amendments Act increases the number of employees protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), thereby increasing the likelihood of litigation if companies are not complying with the statutory requirements.