The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), was enacted
five years ago with the goal of strengthening and broadening the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), which made it illegal to discriminate against
workers with disabilities. The ADA/ADAAA prohibits discrimination against
“qualified individuals with a disability” in the terms and
conditions of employment.” The ADA also prohibits disability harassment
and retaliation against you for complaining about disability discrimination
or for participating in someone else’s disability discrimination case.
Many believed that the ADA as originally enacted had too narrowly interpreted
what it means to have a disability. As such, when the ADAAA became law
in 2008, legislators intended to expand the definition of “disability”
and shift the ADAAA’s focus onto whether employers of “qualified
individuals” have fulfilled their obligations. These efforts have
mostly been effective, what constitute a disability for the purposes of
the ADA in legal terms has increased.
If you believe you may have suffered disability discrimination at work,
it’s a good idea to consult an
Atlanta disability discrimination lawyer right away.
Generally a disability is considered to be “a substantial limitation
on a major life activity.” This is a legal definition – and
includes conditions such as cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, diabetes
and psychiatric conditions. This means that employers must take steps
to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals who suffer from these
One of the more notable implications of the ADAAA has been that employers
must address one of the most significant practical implications of the
ADAAA for employers has been the need to consider and address many more
requests for various types of workplace reasonable accommodations than
in the past.
According to one observer, the ADAAA “vastly improved the ADA’s
protections for people with disabilities,” because courts generally
“are spending far less time parsing the details of plaintiffs’
disabilities to determine whether they are sufficiently impaired to be
deserving of legal protections.”
One issue that continues to evolve is the appropriately determining the
essential functions of a disabled worker’s job in order to determine
whether he or she is considered qualified. If the worker does not meet
the qualified standard, then ADAAA protections do not apply.
If you have questions about the ADAAA or believe that you may have suffered
disability discrimination at work, please contact the experienced
Atlanta disability discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLP for an immediate consultation.