Since we reported that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued its proposed regulations last month concerning the definition of a “disability” under Titles II (applicable to state and local governments) and III (applicable to public accommodations) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we have received a number of inquiries about the regulations’ impact and whether clients need to take any action. We share here our initial thoughts.
Background and Key Provisions. The proposed regulations implement the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) which amended the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Congress passed the ADAAA in response to several court decisions, including from the Supreme Court, that narrowly interpreted the definition of “disability.” The point of the ADAAA, according to the DOJ, was to “mak[e] it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the statute.”
In March 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued its final regulations to implement the ADAAA’s requirements for Title I of the ADA, which prohibits disability discrimination by employers. These DOJ proposed regulations will implement ADAAA requirements for Titles II and III of the ADA, which prohibit discrimination in state and local programs and by public accommodations, respectively. DOJ’s proposed regulations closely track the statutory requirements of the ADAAA and the EEOC’s final regulations.
The ADAAA did not change the ADA’s definition of disability, which continues to be:
Continue Reading More People Will Be Individuals With a "Disability" Under Proposed Justice Department Regulations