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Is it strange I’m scratching my head regarding the ADAAA Final Rule?

No, it’s not strange at all. From my view, HR professionals’ heads should be spinning regarding the Final Rule implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. From the various interpretations I’ve read, it’s enough to make you stop and say, “What?” There’s a lot of verbiage to untangle, that’s for sure.

Long story short, the ADAAA’s purpose is to make it easier for individuals to establish that they have a disability by expanding the definition of the term, “disability.” Therefore, discrimination claims will invariably be on the rise and employers are going to have to be much more cautious in how they deal with every candidate and employee.

The EEOC’s Final Regulations were published in the federal Register March 25, 2011 and take effect May 24, 2011.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions regarding how the rule applies to HR professionals:
1. Does the ADAAA apply to discriminatory acts that occurred prior to January 1, 2009?
2. What is the purpose of the ADAAA
3. Who is required to comply with these regulations?
4. How does the ADAAA define “disability?”
5. How do the regulations define the term “physical or mental impairment?”
6. When does an impairment “substantially limit” a major life activity?
7. Can impairments that are episodic or in remission be considered disabilities?
8. After an individualized assessment is done, are there certain impairments that will virtually always be found to result in substantial limitation in performing certain major life activities?
9. What does it mean for a covered entity to “regard” an individual as having a disability?
10. Do any of the ADAAA’s changes affect workers’ compensation laws or Federal and State disability benefit programs?

For answers to these questions and more, go to:

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/ada_qa_final_rule.cfm.

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