Provisions of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) that expand the definition of “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act “in favor of broad coverage of individuals” do not apply to actions taken before the effective date of the ADAAA, Jan. 1, 2009, according to a recent decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. While the July 21, 2009 ruling provides some comfort for employers in relation to pre-Jan. 1, 2009 actions, employers need to take appropriate steps to mitigate disability claim risks for actions on or after the effective date of the ADAAA. As signed into law on Sept. 25, 2008, the ADAAA amended the definition of “disability” for purposes of the disability discrimination prohibitions of the ADA to make it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability under the ADA definition.
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