On September 25, 2008, President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 into law. This law amends certain aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act enacted in 1990, which prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability. Specifically, the ADA Amendments Act, which becomes effective January 1, 2009, modifies the definition of “disability”, as well as broadens the classifications and categories of “major life activities” for purposes of determining the effects of a disability.
The EEOC is expected to issue regulations implementing the changes made by this law (also see Notice Concerning the ADAA). In the meantime, employers should review their HR policies relating to disability, including reasonable accommodation, medical certification forms, and job descriptions, to ensure compliance with the changes made by this law.
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