Restoring the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was originally passed in 1990, most of us have been under the assumption that employers are not allowed to discriminate against anyone with a disability. That was certainly the intent of the law. However, since 1999, the courts have drastically altered the definition of a disability – ignoring the clear intent of Congress. The Supreme Court backed up the lower courts by directing that the definition of a disability should be interpreted narrowly.
The unfortunate result is that the courts have sided with employers more than 90% of the time in discrimination cases – even when the employers admitted they terminated the employees because of their disability. Patients with serious and disabling illnesses are being told they are not “disabled enough.”
Fortunately, the disability community and the U.S. Congress have refused to accept this situation. On July 26, 2007 the ADA Restoration Act of 2007 was introduced in Congress. Congressional supporters encouraged the disability community and the business community to get together and try to come up with mutually acceptable language for the bill to help ensure its success.
Those who have helped put together the language for the new bill would like input from the disability community before it is finalized. You can read a more in-depth explanation of what has happened regarding the ADA as well as the text of the proposed new bill here: ADA Restoration & a Potential Deal with the Business Community. Within the document, you’ll find an e-mail address should you want to comment.
The ADA is civil rights legislation that is supposed to protect those of us who have or potentially may have a disability. Make sure the proposed bill offers the kind of protection you want and need.