A final version was released recently of amendments added to the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2008. The ADA was expanded in response to U.S. Supreme Court decisions that narrowly interpreted the law that is meant to protect people from discrimination in employment based on a disability. The new amendments were put in place to overturn those decisions.
According to a post by Debra Cassens Weiss on the American Bar Association Journal’s law blog, the expanded law could make it easier for an employee with one of the new, listed conditions to file a discrimination lawsuit, because they will only have to prove that an employer discriminated against them, but not whether they fall under the protection of the ADA.
According to Weiss, the new conditions added to the ADA include, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, autism, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, muscular dystrophy and diabetes. These conditions will “virtually always” be considered a disability under the ADA.
According to the ABA Journal, the expanded regulations could lead to more class action lawsuits to be filed against employers by groups of employees who have one of the listed conditions. The cases had in the past been treated more individually, but this change could mean that a group of employees with diabetes could claim that as a group they were discriminated against for a condition protected by the ADA.
New ADA Regs Could Lead to More Disability Class Actions (ABA Journal)