This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (S.3406), with the amendments made by the U.S. Senate last week.  I’ve recapped the details before in prior postsReuters has the details of today’s House action in.

Numerous groups and politicians released press releases this afternoon praising the bill’s strengths:

  • The American Diabetes Association encouraged the President to sign the bill and said that if signed into law, the bill "will take critical steps toward restoring the 1990 law to its original intent to protect such individuals from discrimination." 
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said:  “By passing this bill, we have ensured that the definition of “disability” will be construed fairly and broadly. And we have brought millions of our fellow-citizens, who were previously shut out, back where they belong, and back where we need them: under the ADA’s protection.  Together, we have made up a coalition as broad and deep as the one that passed the ADA 18 years ago. We are members of the disability community, struggling for fair and equal treatment; business groups, eager for new pools of talent; and leaders of both parties.

Numerous other blogs also continue to post on this as well, including a post today by George’s Employment Blawg

Overall, for employers in Connecticut, this new law is going to raise a whole host of issues because Connecticut’s anti-discrimination is structured very differently.  How these two laws are going to interact, particularly in light of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision  in Curry v. Allan S. Goodman, earlier this year, is something I’ll take up in some upcoming posts.

At this point, Connecticut employers should act cautiously and look at each disability decision on a case by case basis.  In some instances, one could envision Connecticut’s anti-discrimination laws might have different application than federal law. 

One thing’s for certain: Employment lawyers who represent employers (like myself) are sure to get more than a few phone calls asking to sort all this out. 

(H/T World of Work)