Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendment Act of 2008

  • Date: March 30, 2011
  • Source: Admin
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Features of the Act

The Act:

  1. Directs EEOC to modify that section of its regulations defining the term "substantially limits"
  2. Expands the definition of "major life activities" by including two non-exhaustive lists:
    1. The first list includes activities that the EEOC has recognized and activities that EEOC has not specifically recognized
    2. The second list includes major bodily functions
  3. States that mitigating measures other than "ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses" shall not be considered in assessing whether an individual has a disability
  4. Considers an impairment a disability if it limits a major life activity when active
  5. Changes the definition of "regarded as" so that it no longer requires a showing that the employer perceived the individual to be substantially limited in a major life activity, and instead says that an applicant or employee is "regarded as" disabled if he or she is subject to an action prohibited by the ADA (e.g., failure to hire or termination) based on an impairment that is not transitory and minor
  6. Grants that individuals covered only under the "regarded as" prong are not entitled to reasonable accommodation


There is no specific mention of learning disabilities in the Act. However, the law defines a person as disabled if he or she:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Has a record of such an impairment
  • Is regarded as having such impairment

Steps and Actions for Employers under the ADAAA


Review of Employment Policy

·         Review employment policies

·         Consult with outside professionals about whether changes are necessary

Review Job Descriptions

·         Review job descriptions so that aspects of the job listed as essential functions are job-related


·         Ascertain a formalized process in place to deal with requests for reasonable accommodations

Educate and Make Aware

Educate supervisors and managers about

·         ADAAA changes

·         Importance of interactive discussions with disabled employees


·         Encourage supervisors and managers to consult with Human Resources the validity of the request for accommodation, if need arises

·         Never refuse or retaliate against the individual for making the request


·         Reconsider past accommodation requests if the employee's impairment did not satisfy the then ADA's definition of a disability

Inability to Accommodate

When unable to accommodate an employee with a medical condition have

·         well drafted documentation of the legitimate

·         non-discriminatory reason for the action

·         interactive steps taken to arrive at the decision



The ADA provide legal recourse for employees who have been violated ADA employee rights, such as:

  • recovery of back wages
  • reimbursement of attorney fees

Federal government contractors’ or subcontractors’ employees can file disability discrimination complaints with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.


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