Health care thoughts: First major rewrite of the Americans with Disabilities Act
by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt
While We Were Busy Discussing Other Things….
…. the first major rewrite of regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act went into effect March 15th. Good news and bad news for workers and employers.
Overall, what I read looks achievable from an employer viewpoint, and the Obama administration has shown some common sense (building owners who spent money to meet the prior rules will not have to immediately tear up their buildings for modifications to meet new rules).
The bad news? The news regs for public swimming pools cannot not be met on time, and the administration has issued a 60 day reprieve to prevent the closer of most of the pools in the country. (Apparently there is not enough qualified equipment or enough service techs to retrofit tens of thousands of pools in any timely manner.) Eventually the administration may inadvertently shut down many of the therapy pools used by …. the disabled.
The other bad news I see is the definition of “disabled” is now murky again, after the feds and employers and the courts worked for two decades to clarify the previous definitions. This murkiness puts employers acting in good faith in jeopardy for litigation.
This will be progress if applied with common sense.
Rusty–I can’t see where the definition of disability under the ADA is defined in the link provided. Not surprising, because the ADA passed during the 80’s was a very complex law. The old definition of a “qualified disabled individual” under the Act was based on the degree to which the person was unable to perform basic life functions with or without the requested reasonable accomodation. It looks like the new regs are concerned mainly with accessibility requirements. But, who can claim workplace accomodations is a big deal in bad economic times. So, any additional information you have or can direct me to would be very helpful. NancyO
Actually I should have clarified, the new interpretations are from the EEOC in 2011, part of the same regulatory emphasis by the Obama administration.