The twenty-fifth anniversary of the ADA in July 2015 marked a reason to celebrate, not only because of the sweeping protections of the 2008 Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, but also because several recent court decisions wherein courts actively implemented the ADAAA’s broad protections to disabled individuals.
This article by TELG principal Tom Harrington and TELG managing principal R. Scott Oswald was published by Corporate Counsel on August 6, 2015. The full article is available at Corporate Counsel. (Site requires registration.)
The article also was published by Employment Law Strategist (Site requires paid subscription.) on August 1, 2015.
25 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act
When George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 26, 1990, its proponents believed that it would have a sweeping impact for disabled workers. Bush himself described the law as an "historic new civil rights act." Yet, over the next decade and a half, judicial decisions steadily narrowed the categories of conditions that qualified as "disabilities," and thus excluded many individuals from protection under the ADA. With the passage of the ADA Amendments Act on Jan. 1, 2009, Congress attempted to halt and overcome court decisions that had improperly limited the scope and intent of the ADA; and did so by expanding protections for individuals with disabilities. With July 26, 2015, marking the 25th anniversary of the ADA, disabled Americans have reason to celebrate as recent court decisions have strengthened and broadened their protections under the ADAAA.