It’s been over four months since my last update on the ADA Restoration Act.
Now word comes that a possible compromise bill is in the works that could make the first substantial legislative changes to the ADA in over 15 years. Human Resource Executive Online has the latest details (H/T Workplace Horizons):
According to the report, the proposed modified bill:
- States that mitigating measures should not be considered when determining whether an impairment materially restricts an individual’s major life activity, including medical devices, assistive technology, behavior adaptations, reasonable accommodation or auxiliary aids. This would reverse the ruling in the Sutton vs. United Airlines decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that "mitigating measures" should be taken into account when determining whether a plaintiff is disabled.
- Excludes minor impairments and impairments with an actual or expected duration of six months or less as disabilities.
- States that employers would not need to provide reasonable accommodations to employees they regard as disabled.
- Includes a section with examples of major life activities such as caring for oneself, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. The high court, in Toyota vs. Williams, ruled a disability must "substantially limit [an individual’s] daily life activities," not just abilities at work. The case involved the inability of an assembly worker with carpal tunnel syndrome to do her job.
What will happen? Stay tuned.