The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) promises to dramatically
change the disability law landscape. Encouraged by the onslaught of
lower court decisions ruling that numerous conditions were not
disabilities under the existing Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990 (ADA), Congress emphatically engaged in an extensive
bipartisan effort to enact the ADAAA.
On June 25, 2008, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3195,
the precursor to the ADAAA. On Sept. 11, 2008, the Senate followed
suit by unanimously passing the ADAAA, a bill that differs only
slightly from H.R. 3195 by offering even greater protection to
individuals with disabilities. The House hurriedly passed the ADAAA
Sept. 17, 2008. As expected, President Bush signed the act into law
Sept. 25, 2008.
The ADAAA significantly broadens the definition of disability
and lowers the standard for determining whether an impairment
substantially limits an individual's major life activities. The act
took effect Jan. 1, so you should prepare for the projected
landslide of disability claims.
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