Register for HR tip of the week

Work in the Time of Ebola
Webstep Login(REGISTER HERE)
Client Employee




TWITTER UPDATES:


Accredited By ESAC

COMPLIANCE ALERTS


EEOC Releases Final Regulations Regarding ADAAA

Employers now have definitive guidance on handling ADA claims. As of March 25, 2011, the final regulations to the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) have been published in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Federal Register. By expanding the definition of "disability", these regulations aim to put the focus on the actual merits of a case rather than on the nature of the disability.

Definition

"Disability" is defined using three criteria. Employees may fit into any one of the three:

  1. Actual Disability. A physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities
  2. Record Of. A record of a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities
  3. Regarded As. An actual or perceived disability that is not temporary or minor

Physical impairments include conditions affecting one or more body systems, including neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, lymphatic, anatomical, reproductive, and digestive. EEOC regulations have added immune and circulatory body systems to the list of impairments.

Mental impairments include any emotional, mental, psychological, or intellectual disability or illness.

Major life activities include but are not limited to caring for oneself, seeing, hearing, performing manual tasks, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, interacting with others, working, and major bodily functions such as the immune system and the operation of an individual organ within the body.

While claims of discrimination such as failure to hire or promote may be brought under any of the three prongs listed above, an employee is not entitled to reasonable accommodation(s) with only a perceived disability.

Provisions Include:

  • Active and Inactive Disabilities. Impairments that are episodic, in remittance, or ameliorated using mitigating measures are ADAAA-qualifying disabilities, including epilepsy, major depressive disorder, hypertension, asthma, bipolar disorder, and diabetes.
  • Mitigating Measures. Mitigating measures are used to ease or eliminate the symptoms of impairment, such as hearing aids. Excluded: poor eyesight which is corrected with glasses or contacts. Employers cannot force or require employees to take mitigating measures to correct any real or perceived disabilities. However, an employee may be unable to perform a job's essential duties by failing to use a mitigating measure, causing possible allowable removal from the position.
  • Not Covered. Ailments not covered by the ADAAA include current illegal drug use (although activities related to rehabilitation programs are covered), gender identity disorder, and criminal disorders such as pyromania and kleptomania.
  • Easily Substantiated. The EEOC has released a list of common ailments which should easily be considered disabilities for ADAAA purposes, including deafness, blindness, missing limbs, autism, cancer, diabetes, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, HIV infection, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.
  • Non-Disabled Employees. The ADAAA does not offer protection for employees who believe they were discriminated against for not having disabilities.

What This Means for Your Company

Nextep's team of certified HR Professionals are already educated on these provisions and ready to help your company maintain compliance.

  • Best Business Practices. Continue to use your best business practices, which include treating all employees fairly regardless of any protected status. Hire, train, promote, pay, and terminate nondiscriminatorily, maintaining written records supporting your decisions. Again, these regulations are primarily focused not on the disability, but on preventing discrimination.
  • Employee Handbook. Nextep's handbook was reviewed by attorneys and updated to be compliant with ADAAA regulations. Companies with handbooks dated prior to January 1, 2009 should update immediately.
  • Job Descriptions. A written description of a job's essential functions helps determine whether a person can fulfill it with or without a reasonable accommodation. Nextep can assist in completing these.
  • Reasonable Accommodations. Employees are still responsible for being qualified for the job in question and requesting reasonable accommodations. Supervising and senior personnel should not seek medical treatment, diagnose, or assume that an employee has a disability; that responsibility lies only with the affected employee.

Above all, please contact Nextep's HR Professionals at hr@nextep.com or 888-811-5150 with questions and for case-by-case assistance on all claims and requests.

For the full text of the Federal Regulations, please visit 29 CFR Part 1630. You can also find advisement from the EEOC, including Questions and Answers on the Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act.



Archived Alerts
Headlines in Health Care Reform - Feb 14
Pay or Play Delayed Again for Employers of 50-99
OSHA 300A Posting Requirement
Healthcare Exchange Deadline Extended
OSHA Hazard Communication Changes
IRS Announces Delay to Tax Season
How the Government Shutdown Impacts PEO Clients
Healthcare Exchange Notices
Pay or Play Delayed Until 2015
"Supervisor" Defined By Supreme Court
Pre-Existing Health Conditions Eliminated in 2014
Proposed Rule on 90-Day Waiting Periods Open for Comments
Updated I-9 Form Released by USCIS
New FMLA Poster
OSHA Posting Requirement
Your Employees' Taxes in 2013
Updated Employee Notices in Texas
Medicare Tax to Increase for High Wage Earners
Health Insurance Exchanges in Oklahoma and Texas
Health Care Reform and PCORI Fees
Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)
Medicare Part D Notice Requirements
Healthcare Mandate Upheld by Supreme Court
NLRB Poster Delayed Indefinitely
EEOC's Final Rule Regarding Age Discrimination
Obama Signs Payroll Tax Cut Extension
Payroll Tax Cut Expected to Extend Through 2012
OSHA Form 300A Requirement
NLRB Poster Delayed Again
Payroll Tax Cut Extended Through February 29
IRS and DOL Team Up Against Employee Misclassification
NLRB Poster Requirement Delayed
Mandatory NLRA Poster
EEOC Releases Final Regulations Regarding ADAAA
OSHA Form 300 Notification
Answers to Your W-2 Questions
Unemployment Tax in 2011
Important 2011 Tax Update
Medicare Part D Notifications
Over the Counter Drugs and FSA
Texas Workers' Compensation Healthcare Network
FMLA Clarifications from the Department of Labor
New Labor Poster Requirement for Government Contractors
The HIRE Act: How to Claim Your Tax Credit
COBRA Subsidy Extension
CHIPRA
The Reconciliation Act & Healthcare Reform
Healthcare Reform
HIRE Act Signed
COBRA Subsidy Extension
OSHA Form 300 Notification
Medicare Part D Notifications
Poster Requirements for GINA
E-Verify
I-9 Compliance
Minimum Wage Update
H1N1 and the Workplace
Hiring 101
COBRA Posting Notice
ARRA and the COBRA Subsidy
Making Work Pay
Drug Free Workplace 101
Corporate Headquarters: Norman, Oklahoma 73072
Toll Free Phone: 888.811.5150
Email: info@nextep.com