We were going to tell you about some exciting Winning Work Teams’ events in the near future, but we thought the recent activity by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) should take precedent. After all, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (“ADAAA”) is a key new civil rights act. Congress charged the EEOC to come up with the final regs on the law so that employers could understand how to properly handle the needs of disabled job applicants and employees under the new law. Given the fact millions of Americans suffer some sort of disability which may become a work-related factor, this is a big deal. A few highlights:
1. “Disability” is to be given broad meaning. If the applicant or employee says s/he suffers some sort of disability, then under the law s/he probably qualifys for ADAAA consideration.
2. The regs state that a disability need not impair a major life activity to fall under the protections of the law.
3. Impairments that are in remission (cancer) or episodic (epilepsy) are to be considered disabilities if they would be substantially limiting when active.
As strategic Orlando Human Resources business consultants, we urge employers to get a handle on this stuff. Dithering will only cost time, resources and missed opportunities to become a better employer. Remember, the new focus is on how the person was treated rather than the debate as to the nature of the person’s impairment.